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Seeds of Freedom is a remarkable case study of liberating education in the remote Guatemalan Maya indigeus village of Santa Maria Tzeja in the four decades since it was first settled in 1970. Clark Taylor's account begins at a time in which the majority of the village consisted of illiterate landless and land-poor peasant farmers working in conditions close to slavery. With the help of a Catholic priest, the village's founding pioneers were granted land, settled the village, established a school for their children, and began to prosper. By 2010 the village's emerging professionals were filling increasingly important social change roles at the local, regional, and national levels and nearly all children are educated with many to a university level. As such Santa Maria has come to exemplify the theory and practice of liberating education. The book tells the history of this remarkable community and reveals the transformative potential of the radical pedagogy of Paulo Freire and others. Santa Maria has thus become an example of dynamic liberating education, and its history has much to offer educators, students and solidarity activists throughout the world.
Clark Taylor combines a thriving intellectual curiosity with a passion for social justice. He began his career in 1960 as an ordained Protestant pastor, with a focus on justice and peace issues. In 1970 he continued graduate studies in urban planning, from which he took a position in 1972 as a founding faculty member of the College of Public and Community Service (CPCS) at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Based on his work at the college, he wrote his PhD thesis on Planning an Urban Experimental College, receiving his degree in 1976. Through his thirty-year career at the college, his teaching areas evolved through urban studies to progressive religion and finally to Latin American studies, with a focus on Guatemala. With his wife, Kay, he co-founded a partnership between their local Protestant church and the Guatemalan indigenous village of Santa Maria Tzeja in 1987, which continues and is the case study community for this book.