Prof Peter L. McLaren

College of Educational Studies, Chapman University & Co-Director, The Paulo Freire Democratic Project

Peter McLaren is Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies, College of Educational Studies, Chapman University. He is also Chair Professor, Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China and a faculty member of the The Global Center of Advanced Studies, Michigan. He is also Professor Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught for 20 years.

Professor McLaren left his native Canada in 1985 to work in the United States where he continues to be active in the struggle for social justice. A Marxist humanist, he lectures widely in Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe.

Professor McLaren is the author and editor of nearly 50 books and hundreds of professional publications on education and social justice. His writings have been translated into over 20 languages. He received his Ph.D. in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada.

He is the author and editor of approximately books and hundreds of scholarly articles and chapters. Professor McLaren's writings have been translated into 20 languages.  Five of his books have won the Critic's Choice Award of the American Educational Studies Association.

The charter for La Fundacion McLaren de Pedagogia Critica was signed at the University of Tijuana in July, 2004 and was later moved to Ensenada, Mexico under the title, Instituto McLaren de Pedagogia Critica y Educatcion Popular. Instituto McLaren de Pedagogia Critica y Educacion Popular offers courses, degrees and training in popular education and has been named in Professor McLaren’s honor. La Catedra Peter McLaren was inaugurated in Venezuela on September 15, 2006 as part of a joint effort between El Centro Internacional Miranda and La Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela.  

In 2013 Professor McLaren became Associate Member, "Cátedra ‘Comandante Supremo Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías’” de la Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas "Enrique José Varona" de La Habana Cuba. He serves in the capacity of  Cooperantes Internacionales for Centro Internacional Miranda, a progressive think tank in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 2004 Professor McLaren received a doctorate, honoris causa,  at the University of Lapland, Finland and in 2010 received a doctorate, honoris causa, from the University of Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A Fellow of the Royal Society and Commerce, England, since 1985,  Professor McLaren was also recently inducted as an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow, Class of 2012.


Professor McLaren's work has been the subject of three recent books: Teaching Peter McLaren: Paths of Dissent, edited by Marc Pruyn and Luis M. Huerta-Charles (New York: Peter Lang Publications) [translated into Spanish as De La Pedagogia Critica a la pedagogia de la Revolucion: Ensayos Para Comprender a Peter McLaren, Mexico City, Siglo Veintiuno Editores] and Peter McLaren, Education, and the Struggle for Liberation, edited by Mustafa Eryaman (New Jersey: Hampton Press) and Crisis of Commonwealth: Marcuse, Marx, McLaren, edited by Charles Reitz.


Professor McLaren's book, Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (Allyn & Bacon), has been named one of the 12 most significant writings by foreign authors in the field of educational theory, policy and practice by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; the list includes Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich and books by Pierre Bourdieu and Howard Gardner. Life in Schools is currently in press with Paradigm Publishers in its 6th edition.


Professor McLaren was a recipient of a “Lilly Scholarship” at Miami University of Ohio, guest-lectured at the University of British Columbia, Canada, as  a “Noted Scholar”, presented the Eminent Scholar Lecture at The Ohio State University, delivered the Claude A. Eggerston Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, presented the Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

In the year 2000, Professor McLaren received the Amigo Honorifica de la Comunidad Universitaria de esta Institucion by La Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Unidad 141, Guadalajara, Mexico.  McLaren was the inaugural recipient of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Award presented by Chapman University, California in 2002. Professor McLaren was the inaugural recipient of the International Activist Scholar Award for the Advancement of Marxist Theory and Practice, awarded by the Institute for Education Policy Studies, June, 2006. In 2007, he was presented with the Liberty Medal by Soka Gakkai International-USA, a Buddhist organization with 12 million members worldwide. Over the last several years, Professor McLaren received The Central New York Peace Studies Consortium Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace Studies; the 2013 Award of Achievement in Critical Studies by the Critical Studies Association (Athens, Greece); the First Annual Social Justice and Upstander Ethics in Education Award presented by the Department of Education, Antioch University, Los Angeles; the Lifetime Achievement Award, Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed, Inc. and Miami University of Ohio; the inaugural recipient of the Social and Economic Justice in Public Education Award presented by the Marxian Analysis of Society, Schools and Education, a special interest group of the American Education Research Association; the Paulo Freire International Social Justice Award presented by the Paulo Freire Research Center, Finland;, and The Ann-Kristine Pearson Award in Education and Economy presented by The University of Toronto's Center for the Study of Education and Work; the Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar Award presented by The American Education Research Association; the International Award in Critical Pedagogy presented by the government of Venezuela’s Ministry of Education; the First International Award for Social Justice and Equity through Education award, presented by the Instituto Universitario Internacional de Toluca (Mexico); the National Conference on Equity and Social Justice in Education award presented by the founding members of the conference, the "Friend in Solidarity with the Struggle of Mexican Teachers" award presented by the National Union of Educational Workers (Michoacan); and the "Distinción Académica Educación, Debates e Imaginario Social" from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. In addition, the Higher Council of Community Government, the Council for Civil Affairs and the Education Commission of Cheran, Michoacan, presented McLaren with the Defence of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Award commemorating the second anniversary of the defence of the forests.  Professor McLaren was awarded Westchester University’s First Annual Excellence in Anti-Global-Capitalist and Activism Award by the conference founders of Critical Theories in the 21st Century: A Conference of Transformative Pedagogies. Most recently, Professor McLaren received the 2013 “Academia Honor Award” by the Education and Science Workers’ Union for his work in social sciences and his struggle in labor and democracy, Ankara University Turkey, and the “Award of Honor in Critical Pedagogy” from the Department of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning, Ankara University, Turkey. Recently, as well, Professor McLaren received the title: Compañero y Asesor Honorario de la Pedagogía Crítica de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México. Professor McLaren also received the title: Compañero y amigo solidario de los profesores de Córdoba en la lucha conjunta por la justicia social.  Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.  Professor McLaren also received the Outstanding Educator of America Award for 2013, The Association of Educators of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Peter McLaren’s papers reside in Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, California

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