SLU professor’s book on educators released

James Kirylo
James Kirylo

James Kirylo, associate professor of teaching and learning at Southeastern Louisiana University, has had a book released profiling prominent educators and other leaders and activists involved in the politics of education and policies that affect civil society.

“A Critical Pedagogy of Resistance” presents 34 diverse people whose leadership focuses on exposing injustices, improper practices and unsound policies that adversely affect segments of people.

Critical pedagogy examines the political nature of education and its impact on those who have historically been marginalized by race, gender, poverty, religion, class, sexuality or ethnicity, said Kirylo, who last year was recognized with one of the university’s highest honors, the President’s Award for Excellence in Research.

“I’ve always had an interest in people who have made a difference, particularly with respect to education, and to those who have contributed to thinking of critical pedagogy,” he said. “I believe it’s ethically responsible to scrutinize, challenge and oppose people and systems that keep some people in and some people out.”

Kirylo said the audience for the book includes teachers and others in education, as well as those in other disciplines such as theology, sociology, social work and anyone interested in fostering equality and justice in the world.

Kirylo completed a biography on Paulo Freire, considered the father of critical pedagogy, and contributed a chapter on the Brazilian educator to “A Critical Pedagogy of Resistance.”

Among others profiled in the book are educational philosophers John Dewey and Maria Montessori; Noam Chomsky, considered the father of modern linguistics; W.E.B. Du Bois, who focused on the roots of critical race theory; Cornel West, activist and professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York; and Jesus “Pato” Gómez of Barcelona, whose efforts focused on eradicating gender violence and fostering a pedagogy of love.

“A Critical Pedagogy of Resistance” is published by Sense Publishers.