Artwork by Robbie Conal for the cover of Capitalists and Conquerors.
This website is developed as a resource for students of critical pedagogy. The critical pedagogy which I support and practice advocates non-violent dissent, the development of a philosophy of praxis guided by a Marxist humanism, the study of revolutionary social movements and thought, and the struggle for socialist democracy. It is opposed to liberal democracy, which only serves to facilitate the reproduction of capital. It advocates a multiracial and anti-imperialist social movement dedicated to opposing racism, capitalism (both in private property and state property forms), sexism, heterosexism, hierarchies based on social class, as well as other forms of oppression. It draws its inspiration from philosophers of revolutionary praxis such as Paulo Freire, Raya Dunayevskaya, and other philosophers, social theorists and political activists and supports all those who yearn and struggle for freedom. Critical pedagogy is opposed to both state terrorism and individual acts of terrorism. As Freire writes in The Pedagogy of Freedom, "Terrorism is the negation of what I call a universal human ethic." Critical pedagogy is driven by the engine of class struggle in both national and international arenas.
Este sitio web está desarrollado como una fuente de consulta para estudiantes de la Pedagogía Crítica. La Pedagogía Crítica que apoyo y practico se aboga por el disentimiento no violento, el desarrollo de una filosofía de la praxis guiada por un humanismo marxista, el estudio y pensamiento de los movimientos sociales revolucionarios y la lucha por una democracia socialista. Lo anterior se opone a la democracia liberal, la cual sirve únicamente para facilitar la reproducción del capital. Se aboga por un movimiento social multirracial, antiimperialista dedicado para oponerse al racismo, el capitalismo (tanto en la propiedad privada como las formas de propiedad del Estado), el sexismo, el heterosexismo, las jerarquías basadas en las clases sociales, así como otras formas de opresión. Se delinea con la inspiración de filósofos de la praxis revolucionaria como Paulo Freire, Raya Dunayevskaya y otros filósofos, teóricos sociales y activistas políticos y en todo aquél que anhele y luche por la libertad. La pedagogía crítica se opone tanto al terrorismo de Estado como a los actos del terrorismo individual. Como Freire escribe en la Pedagogía de la Libertad, “El terrorismo es la negación de lo que llamo una ética universal humana.” La Pedagogía Critica se ha conducido por el motor de la lucha de clases, tanto en arenas internacionales como nacionales.*
For those who believe that it is human nature for some groups to dominate and control others, the goal of liberation is to make both the despot and despotic regime more benign. For Freire, such a solution is tantamount to cutting off our legs in the hope that one day we shall grow wings. If we make the road to emancipation by walking then we need to know at some point if we are on the right path in freeing ourselves from the many antagonisms that beset us. For Freire, being on the right path is to have a coherent and consistent vision toward which progress is directed and which can serve as a template for living fearlessly, knowing that moving forward implies overcoming many obstacles. This is to be guided by a vision that ultimately and irrevocably can bring justice to a world in perilous imbalance. Grave changes are warranted in our political civilization—not only the abolition of the commercial helotry of the factories and sweatshops but unclenching the fists we call our hearts, freeing us to reclaim our stolen humanity. Freire’s struggle was to be humble enough to wonder yet courageous enough to defy, to be sufficiently self-assured to rebel yet possesses enough self-doubt to keep from backsliding, to have the audacity to be creative yet remain unburdened by socio-cultural dogma, to be vigilant against the new faces of tyranny yet ever conscious of the flaws and insufficiencies of our own struggles. Freire worked with the generic potential to posit a world that does not make capitulation and defeat the inevitable. Those liberals and conservatives alike who preach the virtues of democracy without recognizing that their vision remains beyond the recuperative powers of the prevailing capitalist system are laying the foundation for plutocracy, and in so doing sawing from the tree the branch upon which they are perched: wizened old vultures masquerading as feathery companions of Minerva. For Freire, understanding the alienation of human labor is the skeleton key that unlocks the bone yard of capitalism and makes it vulnerable for transformation into its opposite—a world of economic, social, cultural, racial, sexual and gender equality. Freire’s pedagogy is connected to the utopian impulse, freed from utopia’s instrumental and petrified systematizing and idealist, totalizing form. It is a pedagogy committed to the historical, material, and situationally specific needs of humanity. It is a pedagogy of and for our times. - Peter McLaren (Los Angeles, 2011)
I spoke on September 4, 2009 to several hundred factory workers, artists, poets, teachers and students at at IMPA -- Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica de Argentina (Metallurgical and Plastic Industries of Argentina)-- an important occupied factory (there are 134 in Argentina) that has become one of the symbols of the whole occupied factories movement in Argentina, as it is part of the National Movement of Occupied Factories (MNER) . I spoke on the topic: Critical Pedagogy and Class Struggle for a Post-Capitalist Future. The factory has a school that draws significantly on critical pedagogy. IMPA is run by an administrative council, whose members are elected by the workers.
The IMPA workers have turned space that was not being used into a neighborhood cultural and arts center. Dance, drama and music classes and performances now take place regularly there, movies are shown in a small theater on an upper floor and artists have been allowed to set up studios where they paint, draw and sculpture. IMPA has been occupied by the workers since 1998.
There are currently 63 workers at IMPA, 150 students attending Adult Secondary Education lessons, a free health care clinic for the people of the Almagro neighbourhood, as well as hundreds of youth participating in a cultural centre based in the factory.
The workers of IMPA say in a recent press release: “While we organise the resistance, we will continue doing what we know best, the workers working, the teachers teaching, the students studying, the doctors providing health care and the culture workers creating culture".
Attending my talk was a woman who was on the 14th day of her hunger strike to support the factory against eviction.
Please support IMPA!
OBAMA’S FIRST COUP D’ETAT: President Zelaya of Honduras has just been kidnapped
By Eva Golinger (28 June 2009) -- I will be live blogging the ongoing situation in Honduras from my blog atWWW.CHAVEZCODE.COM
CLICK HERE to view videos of Peter's talks in Berkeley
Click on the links below to discover how The Transformative Studies Institute, The Institute for Critical Animal Studies, and Thomas Paine's Corner are collaborating to do our part to create, invent, propose, and construct a culture of resistance that includes the human, animal and Earth liberation movements!
A photo of Peter in the town of Serifos, the site of the famous miners strike of 1916.
At the turn of the 20th century, Serifos emerged as a major mining site. The shafts which employed large percentages of the local male population were exploited by the German family of the Gromans. The working conditions in the mines scored amongst the poorest in Europe and though the exact number of in-site deaths is unspecified, historians estimate it in the thousands. In response to the appalling conditions and the legendary brutality of Groman's foremen, in 1916 the miners organized a strike calling for improvement in conditions and an 8 hour workday. The strike was effectively organized by Constantinos Speras, a local anarchosyndicalist with long experience of labor struggles in the mainland. In response to the strike, Groman asked for the help of he Greek authorities which sent a national guard detachment from a nearby island. Imprisoning Speras and the entire labour leadership, the guard turned its weapons against the striking workers demanding they return to work. When the latter refused, the guard opened fire, killing 4 workers and wounding scores. In response, the bystander wives of the workers took up stones and attacked the forces of repression, killing the entirety of the armed detachment and throwing the bodies in the sea. The freed leadership then proceeded to proclaim the island a workers' council commune, leading to an effort of collective proletarian self-organisation cut short by the arrival of a French warship, whose command made clear to the workers that despite them flying the French flag, the Republic had no jurisdiction to support them against the counterattack of the Greek State. Thus Groman was given once again the control of the mines, having however guaranteed improved working conditions and an 8 hours workday. Speras would return to Athens only to be assassinated years later by Communist Party (KKE) maximalists. I was told that Costas Speras was an anarchosyndicalist but not local. He was a central member of the National Trade Union. Unfortunately, he left the trade union and reportedly became an informer for the Greek police.
This was a dark page of the history of communist movement in Greece. The communist guerrillas killed Speras during the German Occupation in 1943. According to my friend, Costas Therianos, in 1916 the first soviet was created in Serifos.
Peter at Institucion Educativa La Independencia, a
preschool, primary and secondary school in the barrio of El Salado, San Javier sector, comuna 13 in Medellin, Colombia. The school has established itself as a zone where no illegal armed groups are permitted to wield their influence. The goal is to keep students alive, and to help them heal and repair in the midst of the civil war. The bottom picture is amural in honor of Colombian educators who have been assassinated by the paramilitary death squads.
For a listing of my upcoming engagements,
please click here.
For a fantastic image created by Roy Carter for the book Teaching Peter McLaren, please click here.
For recent news regarding my inclusion on UCLA's "dirty thirty" list of professors, please click here, or here, or here.
For a description and trailers of a new film by Juli Jiyoung Kang, in which I play a Marxist professor turned spiritual guide, please click here.
For a stirring 7 minute video depicting the revolutionary legacy of Che Guevara, please click here. (Note: 38 MB) And here is a link to the lyrics of The Internationale.
The Fundacion McLaren is a new organization created by a number of scholars and activists based in Tijuana, Mexico. Access the website they have created for their events, writings, and announcements (in Spanish, some English).
See also: FUNDACION MCLAREN DE PEDAGOGIA CRITICA EN SONORA
Venezuela suffered a US-backed coup d'etat on April 11, 2002. This is the story of the youth of the barrios who fought to restore democracy and president Hugo Chávez.
Nathalie Cardone sings "Hasta Siempre"
New Book from Siglo Veintiuno Editores-Mexico available
"The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labour produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally." - Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844)
for Critical Education Policy Studies is
published by the Institute for Education Policy
Studies, an independent Radical Left/ Socialist/
Marxist institute for developing analysis of
education policy. The Institute, and this Journal,
also seek to develop Marxist education theory,
analysis and policy development.
* (La traducción ha sido hecha por el Mtro. Sergio Velasco Yáñez, integrante del Cuerpo Académico “Procesos de Educación de Personas Jóvenes y Adultas” de la Unidad 011, Aguascalientes, de la Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, quien ha gestionado su participación en el Seminario Internacional: “El Poder de Educar: La Pedagogía Crítica a debate”. 28, 29 y 30 de Enero de 2009 en la Sala Audiovisual.)