What is Paulo Freire Center–Finland?

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.

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

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, organises 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 in the University of Tampere November 20, 2007. His topic then was “Paulo Freire and Critical Pedagogy in the Times of Neoliberal Terror.”

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Professor Peter McLaren, one of the leading scholars of Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy

In the first years the center was active in publishing academic books and organising 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 over 17, 000 times (by August 2017).

In 2008–2009 the center organised two summer schools on critical pedagogy and media education with the Department of Education (University of Tampere) and Finnish Youth Research Society. Peter McLaren acted as a keynote in both of those events.

In September 2017 the Paulo Freire Center–Finland united with Krigo ry, a Finnish association of educators, promoting pedagogical practices and collaborative educational processes in order to generate hope and reduce human suffering, exploitation and exclusion in individual, communal and societal levels.

Pye_Engstrom_2008

After the Bath, 1976. A sculpture by Nye Engström located in suburban Stockholm, Sweden. Paulo Freire second from the left.

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