Paulo Freire Re-invented by H.P.Gerhardt


Extended version of my Review Essay 14 pages(PDF) of the Wiley Handbook of Paulo Freire

The Wiley Handbook of Paulo Freire/edited by Carlos Alberto Torres. Hoboken, N.J./USA: Wiley-Blackwell 2019

Thematic scope and aim

Handbooks are reference works and/or collections of instructions containing useful information about a field of study. The Wiley Handbooks in Education on Paulo Freire (1921–1997; henceforth abbreviated as P.F.), published in 2019, aims ‘to set the intellectual agenda for scholars, students and researchers’. It is the first in the series to tackle a single educator and his work instead of spanning an academic discipline. It is very ambitious, as it is determined to supplement even Freire’s self-understanding ‘by more systemic reconstructions’, going ‘beyond his own set of understanding’ (p. 261) and ‘clarifying what he had in mind’ (p. 252). In our fast-paced digital age of easy-access information, handbooks are in vogue: students, practitioners, scholars and researchers alike want to find solid ground to walk on and to get to know a subject all at once, which in turn places the weight of responsibility on a handbook to faithfully represent a field of study…