Baldacchino’s article is published in a special issue of the journal celebrating 50 years of works by Paulo Freire and Ivan Illich

August 8, 2022

UW-Madison’s John Baldacchino is the author of a new article that has appeared in a special issue of the journal Espacio, Tiempo y Educacion celebrating 50 years since the publication of Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and “Deschooling Society” by Ivan Illich.


Baldacchino is Professor of Art and Education at the School of Education’s Art department.

Baldacchino’s article, “Separated by a common herodoxy. Illich, Freire and the Perilous Spell of Radical Canonicity” challenges the common view that the respective works of Freire and Illich have common ground.

The abstract notes that it is “all too easy to argue that texts like ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ and ‘Deschooling Society’ can be aligned to support a liberating and emancipatory approach”. However, the article shows that, although noble, “such an approach would be detrimental to the one fundamental aspect that the two works share: the claim to heterodoxy by which Freire and Illich set out to defend their cause”.

“More than a standard academic paper, this is a reflection on decades of engagement with these two books,” the abstract continues. “In a mixture of personal and academic reflections, and for the most part taken from an Illichian perspective, the author argues that it is necessary to clearly separate these books by submitting more to a reading that would immediately dispense with the gloss by which they remain canonized although often confused. Although not exhaustive, this article is intended to raise more questions than to provide specific answers. »

Learn more and access the full article here.

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