» Dr. Peter L. McLaren
Professor, Distinguished Professor in Critical Studies; Co-Director, The Paulo Freire Democratic Project and International Ambassador for Global Ethics and Social Justice

College of Educational Studies
Dr. Peter L. McLaren
Office Location:
Reeves Hall 205
University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Arts
University of Toronto, Bachelor of Education
Brock University, Masters in Education
University of Toronto, Ph.D.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1948, and raised in both Toronto and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Professor McLaren earned his doctorate in 1984, and served the following year as Special Lecturer in Education at Brock University where he specialized in teaching language arts in urban schools. Professor McLaren also served as a consultant for the National Film Board of Canada and served on the Canadian Cancer Society Educational Subcommittee, 1980-83. Professor McLaren moved to the United States in 1985 to help create The Center for Education and Cultural Studies at Miami University of Ohio where he served as Director and held the title of Renowned Scholar-in-Residence and taught from 1985-1993. Professor McLaren then taught at  the University of California, Los Angeles from 1985-2013 as a Professor in the Division of Urban Schooling at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Professor McLaren taught elementary and middle school from 1974-1979, and most of that time was spent teaching in Canada’s largest public housing complex located in Toronto’s Jane-Finch Corridor.  Cries from the Corridor, McLaren's book about his teaching experiences, made the Canadian bestseller list and was one of the  top ten bestselling books in Canada in 1980 (MacLean's Magazine), initiating a country-wide debate on the status of inner-city schools.       

Professor McLaren is a dual Canadian-American citizen, having become a US citizen in 2000. Professor McLaren is the author and editor of nearly 50 books and his writings have been translated into over 20 languages. Five of his books have won the Critic's Choice Award of the American Educational Studies Association. 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.

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.

Professor McLaren will be associated with Chapman’s historical commitment to the memory of Paulo Freire, as demonstrated by the university’s Freire archive collection and the only known North American bust of the well-known Brazilian pedagogical theorist.  He has been invited to collaborate with Tom Wilson, Ed.D., director of Chapman’s Paulo Freire Democratic Project, and Suzanne SooHoo, Ph.D., Hassinger Endowed Chair in Culture, Community and Collaboration, in the reinvention of the Freire Project at Chapman, as well as formal and informal educational projects of ethical and democratic practices.


  • Distinguished Fellow in Critical Studies, College of Educational Studies, Chapman University
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce (London, England)
  • Fellow of the American Educational Research Association
  • Junior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto, Canada 1983
  • Distinguished Fellow in Critical Studies in Education, School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

Awards (Selected)

  • The Annual "Peter McLaren Upstander Lecture" established in 2013 by the School of Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, to be presented each year at the Annual International Critical Research in Applied Theater Symposium, the University of Auckland. 
  • Visiting Honorary Professor, La Universidad  Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico 2013. 
  • Honorary Director, Center for Critical Studies in Education, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China


  • Research Member,   Social Policy, Education and Curriculum [SPEC]  Research Unit [RU] of the Center for Policy Analyses,  School of Education Public Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
  • National Board Member, Save Our Schools
  • Honorary Chair Professor, Northeast Normal University, Changchun China
  • Affiliate Scholar, University of California CUBA Academic Initiative
  • Cooperante Internacional, Centro Internacional Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Associate Member, "Cátedra ‘Comandante Supremo Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías’” de la Universidad de Ciencias Pedagógicas "Enrique José Varona" de La Habana Cuba.
  • Cátedra, “Peter McLaren” de la Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela y Centro Internacional Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Honorary Professor, The University of Auckland,  Te Kura Akoranga o Tamaki Makaurau
    New Zealand
  • Presidente Honorario and Fundador del Instituto McLaren de Pedagogia Critica y
    Educacion Popular
    Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
  • Co-Editor, Book Series
    Mike Peters and Peter McLaren,
    Education and Struggle: Narrative, Dialogue, and the Political Production of Meaning.
    Peter Lang Publishers, New York.
  • Guest Professor, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, China
  • Faculty Member, Institute of Critical Pedagogy, The Global Center of Advanced Studies, Michigan
  • Member of the United Nations Association of the United States of America, Orange County Chapter
  • Executive Board Member.  Anti-colonial Educational Perspectives for Transformative Change.  Sense Publishers.  Rotterdam: The Netherlands
  • Steering Committee Member, California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Higher Education of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine, Philosophy and Education, Higher Education.

 Recent Awards and Honors

  • 1992: Renowned Scholar-in-Residence, School of Education and Allied Professions, Miami University of Ohio
  • 2000: Amigo Honorifica de la Comunidad Universitaria de Esta Institucion, La Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Unidad 141, Guadalajara, Mexico. 
  • 2002: The inaugural recipient of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Award presented by Chapman University.
  • 2006: 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.
  • 2007: The Liberty Medal by Soka Gakkai International-USA.
  • In 2012
    • 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 Social and Economic Justice in Public Education Award presented by the Marxian Analysis of Society, Schools and Education, American Education Research Association.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award in Peace Studies by the Central New York Peace Studies Consortium.
    • The Paulo Freire International Social Justice Award by the Paulo Freire Research Center, Finland.
    • 1st Annual Social Justice and Upstander Ethics in Education Award, Department of Education at Antioch University Los Angeles.
    •  First International Award for Social Justice and Equity through Education award, by the Instituto Universitario Internacional de Toluca (Mexico).
    • Friend in Solidarity with the Struggle of Mexican Teachers Award by the National Union of Educational Workers.
    • Distinción Académica Educación, Debates e Imaginario Social, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
    • Defense of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Award, the Higher Council of Community Government, the Council for Civil Affairs and the Education Commission of Cheran, Michoacan.
  • In 2013
    • Award of Achievement in Critical Studies, Critical Studies Association (Athens, Greece).
    • International Award in Critical Pedagogy, Venezuela’s Ministry of Education.
    • First Annual Social Justice, Equity and Global Ethics Award, National Conference on Equity and Social Justice in Education.
    • Westchester University First Annual Excellence in Anti-Global-Capitalist and Activism Award, Conference Founders of Critical Theories in the 21st Century: A Conference of Transformative Pedagogies.
    • Academia Honor Award, Education and Science Workers’ Union Ankara University, Turkey
    • Award of Honor in Critical Pedagogy, Department of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning, Ankara University, Turkey.
    • Contribution to Humanity Award, Instituto Pedagógico de Estudios Superiores de Jalisco, Mexico.
    • Outstanding Educator of America Award for 2013, The Association of Educators of Latin America and the Caribbean.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award, Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed, Inc. and Miami University of Ohio.
    • Critics Choice Book Award, American Educational Studies Association.
  • In 2014
    • Honorary Global Ambassador of Critical Pedagogy and Global Ethics Award.
      Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación. Universidad Autónoma "Benito Juárez" de Oaxaca. Oaxaca, México.
    • Professor McLaren received the title: Compañero y Asesor Honorario de la Pedagogía Crítica de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México.
    • Professor McLaren 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
    • Amigo de la Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, Mexico.
  • In 2015
    • Ambassador of Critical Thinking in Latin America [Embajador del Pensamiento Critico en American Latina], El Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades de la Universidad de Guadalajara

Teaching and Research Interests

Critical pedagogy, critical ethnography, political sociology of education, critical theory, Marxist theory, revolutionary social movements, critical race theory, social justice education.

Select Publications

The Abode of Educational Production: In Interview with Peter McLaren. (2015) Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research. Volume 26. 

Comrade Jesus: An Epistolic Manifesto
volume 2 (6), 2014, pp. 55-114. (forthcoming in Spanish with Herramienta (Argentina).

A Pedagogy of Insurrection. (in progress). New York: Peter Lang Publishers

McLaren, P. This Fist Called My Heart: The Peter McLaren Reader.  (in press). Edited by Marc Pruyn and Luis Huerta Charles. Charlotte, North Carolina, Information Age Publishers, 2015.

Peter McLaren, Lilia D.  Monzó,  & Arturo Rodriguez, A. (in press). Deploying guns to expendable communities: Bloodshed in Mexico, US imperialism and transnational capital – A call for revolutionary critical pedagogy. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, 2014.

Petar  Jandrić and Peter McLaren.  (2014). Critical revolutionary pedagogy is made by walking – in a world where many worlds coexist. Policy Futures in Education, 12(6), pp. 805-831. 

McLaren, P. (2014). Life in Schools (6th edition).  Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Press.

Lilia D. Monzó & Peter McLaren. (2014).  Critical Pedagogy and the Decolonial Option: challenges to the inevitability of capitalism, Policy Futures in Education, 12(4), pages 513‑525.

Peter McLaren (2014) Education Agonistes: an epistle to the transnational capitalist class, Policy Futures in Education, 12(4), 583-610.

Peter McLaren. (2013). Reflections on Love and Revolution, International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, volume 5, no. 1, pp. 1-10.

PETER McLAREN (2013) Farewell to the Man in the Red Beret, Enter the Man in the White Silk Mitre: 'there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in', Policy Futures in Education, 11(4), 477-480. 

Peter McLaren. (2013). Seeds of Resistance: Towards a Revolutionary Critical Ecopedagogy. Socialist Studies / Études socialistes, Vol 9, No 1:  84-108

Peter McLaren.  (2012). La Pedagogia Critica Revolucionaria: El Socialismo y los Desafios Actuales. Buenos Aires: Herramienta Ediciones.

Peter McLaren. (2012). Objection Sustained: revolutionary pedagogical praxis as an occupying force, Policy Futures in Education, Volume 10 Number 4,  pp. 487-495.

PETER McLAREN.  (2012).  Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy for a Socialist Society: A Manifesto. The Capilano Review. 3(13), 2012, pp. 61-66.

Peter McLaren. (2011).  The Death Rattle of the American Mind. Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies. Volume 11, no. 4,  pp. 373-385.

McLaren, P., Macrine, S., and Hill, D, (Eds). (2010). Revolutionizing Pedagogy: Educating for Social Justice Within and Beyond Global Neo-liberalism. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Nocella, A., Best, S., & McLaren, P. (Eds.) (2010). Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex. San Francisco: AK Press.

Sandlin, J.A. & McLaren, P. (Eds.). (2009). Critical Pedagogies of Consumption: Living and Learning in the Shadow of the "Shopocalypse”.  New York and London: Routledge.

McLaren, P., & Jaramillo, N. (2007). Pedagogy and Praxis in the Age of Empire: Towards a New Humanism. Rotterdam and Tapei: Sense Publishers.

McLaren, P. (2006). Rage and Hope: Interviews with Peter McLaren on War, Imperialism and Critical Pedagogy. Peter Lang Publishers, New York.

McLaren, P. (2005). Life in Schools (5th edition).  New York: Allyn & Bacon.

McLaren, P. (2005). Capitalists and Conquerors: Critical Pedagogy Against Empire. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

McLaren, P. & Farahmandpur, R. (2005).  Teaching Against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism. A Critical Pedagogy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

McLaren, P. (2000). Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution.  Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

Books About Professor McLaren’s Work

Professor McLaren's work has been the subject of four 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]; Peter McLaren, Education, and the Struggle for Liberation, edited by Mustafa Eryaman (New Jersey: Hampton Press); Crisis of Commonwealth: Marcuse, Marx, McLaren, edited by Charles Reitz. (2014) and This Fist Called My Heart: The Peter McLaren Reader. Edited by Marc Pruyn and Luis Huerta-Charles, editors. Charlotte, North Carolina. Information Age Publishers (in press).