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Why do some access to higher education students embrace critical pedagogy whilst others resist

Boorman, Anthony F. (2011) Why do some access to higher education students embrace critical pedagogy whilst others resist. EdD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Why do some Access to Higher Education (HE) students embrace Critical Pedagogy (CP) whilst others resist? I have considered this question throughout my time on the Doctoral (EdD) programme and it has been at the heart of my academic work. Drawing on themes that have emerged during this time, including work undertaken in my Institution Focused Study (IFS), my professional concern is that, increasingly, attempts to operationalise CP in the classroom either misfire or fail - a pedagogical stalling. My experience is that students frequently misunderstand, resist or are ambivalent towards my critical intentions. I am concerned that critical pedagogues may under-theorise the contingent nature of classroom life and individual subjectivity. Whilst feminist and feminist poststructuralist writers acknowledge the situated and contingent nature of learners' subjectivity and deconstruct the nature of oppression and extent of teachers' agency to pursue CP, it remains largely a political project, abstracted from the daily realities of classroom life. Neo-liberal educational discourses increasingly undermine critical approaches and are sometimes experienced as superfluous and anachronistic by students. Given these difficulties the purpose of this thesis is to develop a more nuanced understanding of students' pedagogical perceptions. Drawing on ethnographic and collaborative research approaches, I explore narrative accounts of Access students progressing from Further Education (FE) to Higher Education (HE). Using unstructured conversations and the Voice Centred Relational (VCR) method of analysis, I problematise misperceptions concerning my critical intentions. The students' narratives are developed as three distinct themes and acknowledge constraints concerning student subjectivity. The study concludes by arguing that critical pedagogues should pay greater attention to the relational conditions from which students speak. I consider what a more contextually informed pedagogy might look like: one that acknowledges the real constraints of student subjectivity, the nature of oppression and the demands of neo-liberal policy-drivers. Finally, I suggest an alternative and more nuanced approach to CP offers a more situated and contingent way forward.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Additional Information: Thesis: (EdD) University of London Institute of Education, 2011.
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2014 10:56
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2015 13:37
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