The AGORA research centre has provided seminars, workshops, lecture series in which over 3000 scholars, teachers, students, professionals and policy makers have participated.

AGORA holds workshops and regular research seminars, closely connected with social justice and equality perspectives. These research seminars are inclusive so that they create a unique, supportive environment for MA’s, PhD’s and post-doctoral researchers as well as university lecturers and professors.

The seminars are useful especially to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in terms of building their independent research careers. Along with research support, these seminars provide a site for future funding plans, development of teaching and collaborative writing. The Centre provides courses in Finnish and English. It contributes to the development of teaching from equality and social justice perspectives.

Research seminar Critical sociology and philosophy in education (CRISP)

Seminar has meetings once a month. Please contact:

We combine sociological, philosophical, cultural, feminist, historical, social, political and economic perspectives in order to study social change in education and beyond. Our research offers theoretical, conceptual and methodological understanding for the future of education especially in relation to the diversification of populations, needs for stronger social justice/participation, and equality. We tackle with several acute questions in education, such as privatisation, marketisation, new governance, democracy and inequalities.

Research seminar on comparative and international education

For further information and seminar meetings please contact Helena Hinke Dobrochinski Candido ( or Petteri Hansen (

Research seminar on philosophy of education

For further information and seminar meetings please contact Anniina Leiviskä (


The AGORA holds national and international courses, workshops and research seminars closely connected with social justice and equality perspectives. These events are inclusive so that they create a unique, supportive environment for MA’s, PhD’s and post-doctoral researchers as well as university lecturers and professors.

Please visit University of Helsinki course search for current timetable and enrollment information.

Education, working life and equality, EDUK316, 5OP

The course provides a critical overview to education and working life from the perspectives of inequality, equality and diversity. The course encourages students reflect on their own activities as well as education and working life more broadly in terms of inequality, equality and diversity.

Current themes in philosophy of education, EDUM018, 5CR

The course examines the specific nature of philosophy of education, traditional educational philosophical problems and issues, and describes the importance of educational philosophical research in the study of current phenomena related to education. The course introduces students to the themes, concepts and theories of current educational philosophical research and scientific debate. Topics covered in this course include democracy education, citizenship, value pluralism, political participation, social justice in education, critical thinking, rationality and autonomy as an educational ideal.

Social justice and diversities in education, EDUM037, 5CR

The course explores different ways to conceptualize and theorize differences and social justice. The course also explores the relationship between social practices and different ways of conceptualizing. The questions to be examined include: What are the concepts, conditions and practices on which social justice and differences are based? What kind of education and training is required for the realization of democracy? How does power work in different fields of education and training and what are the consequences for different groups. How do different forms of knowledge translate into truths in different contexts of education and training, what they serve and how can they be resisted?

Power. Discources and differences – focus on inequality in education, EDUM322, 5CR

The course examines critically cross-sectoral policies and practices in education from the perspective of inequality. We explore together, how inequality affects children, adolescents and adults. Combining sociological, cultural, political and feminist perspectives we examine how power, discourses and differences work and how different actors such as political decision-makers, experts, researchers, etc. contribute to maintaining inequality. Addressing issues of inequality sheds more light on the lives of different individuals and groups that face inequality, exclusion and discrimination. The main objective is to enable more diverse ways to reflect and act in the context of education and training.

Critical special education, sociological disability studies and inclusive education, EDUK013, 5CR

The course introduces social science research into disability studies, its different trends and applications in the field of education, and applies these theories to the critical examination of special education and inclusive education.

Contemporary issues in comparative and international education

Lecturers: Helena Hinke Dobrochinski Candido together with Petteri Hansen


New theories for career guidance: online reading group

The purpose of this online international reading group is to bring early stage and senior researchers together to discuss societally and sociologically oriented theory (sociological, philosophical, political, feminist, post-colonial, anti-racist etc.) which connects career guidance theory and practice to broader societal issues, and develops our thinking to tackle with issues of context, intersectionality, agency, power and social justice. The group has online meetings (2h) approximately every second month. For more info contact: Sanna Toiviainen (