Critical pedagogy with Peter McLaren filled the house

Professor Peter McLaren gave an engaging lecture about social justice, education and pedagogies and practices of hope and change last night for more than 150 people at University of Helsinki. The event was organized by PhD students from the Nordic Centre of Excellence JustEd and Viikki Teacher Training School of Helsinki University.

“I’ve been working 30 years as a Professor at schools of social justice, and not once have I seen a course on captalism and how it makes us who we are and informs how schools are constructed”, Peter pinpointed.

 

Professor Peter McLaren gave a lecture at the University of Helsinki on 27 April.

Professor Peter McLaren gave a lecture at the University of Helsinki on 27 April.

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Classroom matters: Children as ethnographers in the classroom

A new laptop in the classroom led to ten months of diaries written by children. The diaries are the important data of JustEd member Riikka Hohti’s doctoral dissertation.

“I used to teach on the third grade in elementary school. I wanted to listen to the children, but there were no time, no space. There were 30 pupils in one class,” Riikka says. “One day I brought a brand new laptop into class, which the children were very keen on trying. I thought, why not?”

This was how it all started. Riikka asked the children to write on the laptop about what was happening in the classrooms – their views and observations, their thoughts and stories. There were two classroom diary writers per day, who had no other duties except for writing during the whole day. This practice went on for ten months until Riikka became a full time researcher at the University of Helsinki.

The object of Riikka’s thesis is everyday life in the school classroom with a focus on what matters to the children. In her research, the classroom is understood as a more-than-human context consisting of combinations and gatherings of material things, bodies, time, space and ideas.

Riikka Hohti

Riikka Hohti’s doctoral dissertation takes place on 4 May at the University of Helsinki.

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Vocational education: “All the Nordic countries share common problems”

“The questions we are raising are of big importance on both a societal level and on an individual level,” says Mattias Nylund, University of Gothenburg.

Mattias and his colleague Per-Åke Rosvall at Umeå University are exited. They have received funding for laying the foundations for a new cross-collaboration network together with Nordic researchers with the aim to identify needs and gaps within Vocational education research.

Per-Åke Roswall

Per-Åke Rosvall

“All the Nordic countries share some common problems,” says Per-Åke. “They are quite serious problems as well. On a policy level, at least in the Swedish context, these problems are not fully recognized and are framed in a specific way. Much of the discussion in policy circles around efficiency and employability, not social justice.”

 

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Social justice and education: pedagogies and practices of hope and change

What are the power relations in education? How can critical educators survive in schools?

These issues are discussed at a lecture by Professor Peter McLaren, Chapman University (USA), on Wednesday 27 April at 17.00–19.30 at Minervatori, University of Helsinki.

Commentators are:

  • Aminkeng Atabong Alemanji, PhD student, University of Helsinki
  • Ina Juva, PhD student, University of Helsinki
  • Sami Seppilä and Tatu Tossavainen, KRIGO ry
  • Elina Särkelä, teacher, Viikki Teacher Training School of Helsinki University

The event is organized by PhD students from Nordic Centre of Excellence in Education ‘Justice through Education’ and Viikki Teacher Training School, University of Helsinki.

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