The year 2021 marked Paulo Freire’s centennial. Scholars, educators, and activists around the world celebrated Freire’s 100th anniversary.
How difficult is the task of an educator. No matter where this kind of educator works, the great difficult – or the great adventure – is how to make education something which, in being serious, rigorous, methodical, and having a process, also creates happiness and joy. – Paulo Freire
Paulo Freire Center–Finland (PFC–Finland) is a hub for those interested in Paulo Freire and his legacy for making the world more equal and just for all. PFC–Finland fosters critical national and international discussion on education, participatory democracy, and social justice.
The PFC–Finland promotes research, organizes events, collaborates with teachers, educators, cultural workers as well as educational groups and agencies in developing projects and teaching – lectures, seminars, and workshops – in different topics relating, e.g., to arts, comparative education, critical pedagogy, developmental issues, peace research, media education, and social media.
The PFC–Finland was established in November 2007 in Tampere, Finland. At the time the PFC-Finland was the only center in Scandinavia dedicated to Freire’s philosophical and pedagogical thinking and ideas. The inauguration lecture was given by Professor Peter McLaren at Tampere University on November 20, 2007. His topic then was “Paulo Freire and Critical Pedagogy in the Times of Neoliberal Terror.”
In the first years, the center was active in publishing academic books and organizing research seminars. In 2007–2009 a trilogy of studies on critical pedagogy was published (in Finnish) (see here, here, and here). In sum, those books have been downloaded nearly 21, 000 times (by the end of 2020).
In 2008–2009 the center organized two summer schools on critical pedagogy and media education with the Department of Education (University of Tampere) and the Finnish Youth Research Society. Peter McLaren acted as a keynote in both of those events.
In 2019 Professor Juha Suoranta published a biographically oriented book on Freire Paulo Freire. Sorrettujen pedagogi (‘Paulo Freire. A Pedagogue of the Oppressed,’ Into, Helsinki). During the writing process, he visited Freire’s sculpture in Stockholm, Sweden (see photo below). Besides the Freire book, Suoranta has published several Freirian-spirited articles and books:
- McLaren, Peter, Scatamburlo-D’Annibale, Valerie, Suoranta, Juha, & Jaramillo, Nathalia (2004). Adiós al “rebaño desorientado”: la comunicación dialógica de Paulo Freire en la era de la globalización corporativa. Nómadas 21.
- Scatamburlo-D’Annibale, Valerie, Suoranta, Juha, Jaramillo, Nathalia, & McLaren, Peter (2006). Farewell to the “Bewildered Herd”: Paulo Freire’s Revolutionary Dialogical Communication in the Age of Corporate Globalization. Journal of Critical Educational Policy Studies 4(2), 1–27.
- Suoranta, Juha (2005). Radikaali kasvatus (‘Radical Education’). Gaudeamus.
- Suoranta, Juha & Ryynänen, Sanna (2014). Taisteleva tutkimus (‘Militant Research’). Into.
- Bolsonaron kieltämä pedagogi sai suomenkielisen elämäkerran (‘A biography on the pedagogue banned by Bolsonaro in Finnish’). Voima-lehti.
- Suoranta, Juha & Tomperi, Tuukka (2020). Freire en Finlandia: las trayectorias de la presencia de Paulo Freire en el norte. Revista Archivos de Ciencias de la Educación 13(16). Archivos de Ciencias de la Educación – Revistas de la FaHCE
- Suoranta, Juha (2021a). Paulo Freire’s Spirit Has Guided My Work: Confessions of the Finnish Working-Class Academic. Revista Ideação 23(1), 187–201.
- Suoranta, Juha (2021b). Paulo Freire, meu mentor revolucionário. Vagalumear 1(1), 5–19.
- Suoranta, Juha (2021c). Militant Freire. New York: DIO Press.
- Suoranta, Juha & Tomperi, Tuukka (2021a). Is There a Nordic Freire? The Reception History of Freirian Ideas in Finland. Journal of Critical Educational Policy Studies 19(1), 62–97.
- Suoranta, Juha & Tomperi, Tuukka (2021b). Freire na Finlândia: trajetórias da presença de Paulo Freire no norte global. Caminhos. Revista de Ciências da Religião. http://seer.pucgoias.edu.br/index.php/caminhos/article/view/9183
- Suoranta, Juha, Hjelt, Nina, Tomperi, Tuukka & Grant, Anna (2021). Reinventing Paulo Freire’s pedagogy in Finnish non-formal education: The case of life skills for all model. Educational Philosophy and Theory. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00131857.2021.1974839 (the project https://kaikkienmalli.fi/)
- Centro Paulo Freire: presença do educador brasileiro na Finlândia. Entrevista com Juha Suoranta, cientista social e intelectual finlandês https://tantasfolhas.com/centro-paulo-freire-presenca-do-educador-brasileiro-na-finlandia-entrevista-com-juha-suoranta-cientista-social-e-intelectual-finlandes/
- Suoranta, Juha (2022a). Ashraf, Paulo and Me, or Where Heterogeneous Realities Meet. In Kress, Tricia, Lake, Bob & Stein, Elizabeth (Eds.). Radically Dreaming: Illuminating Freirean Praxis in Turbulent Times. New York: DIO Press (reprint). https://www.diopress.com/radically-dreaming
- Suoranta, Juha (2022b). Paulo Freire as a Marxist Revolutionary for Education. In Maisuria, A. (2022) (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Marxism and Education. Critical Understanding in Education, Vol. 3. Brill. (see preprint) https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505612_017
- Suoranta, Juha (2023). Paulo Freire, um educador marxista. Educere et Educare 18(46) 68–94. https://e-revista.unioeste.br/index.php/educereeteducare/article/view/30780
I had experimented with and abandoned various methods and processes of communication. Never, however, had I abandoned the conviction that only by working with the people could I achieve anything authentic on their behalf. Never had I believed that the democratization of culture meant either its vulgarization or simply passing on to the people prescriptions formulated in the teacher’s office. – Paulo Freire