Clare, Rebecca (2015) Critical classrooms: how teachers in Further Education engage in critical pedagogy within a neoliberal policy environment. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis is an investigation of the reasons why and ways in which teachers in English Further Education practise critical pedagogy within a neoliberal policy context. It presents new findings in terms of how and why teachers engage in critical pedagogy; it also presents an original contribution to the field by offering a hermeneutical tool, drawn from Slavko Splichal’s work in communications studies, for understanding the operation of neoliberal hegemony in education and elsewhere. This analytic tool illuminates potential practical and theoretical approaches which may be helpful in the development of counter-hegemonic resistance to neoliberalism.
The thesis argues that neoliberalism has become hegemonic through a reversal of Enlightenment values and priorities and that it is therefore possible to combat the neoliberal advance by a return to the Enlightenment emphasis upon the use of critical reason in public life, but with an added recognition of the impact of power relations shaping both public and private spheres.
The approach is interpretivist and critical and has both theoretical and practical aims and outcomes. It is based on ten semi-structured interviews with teachers in a range of professional contexts in English Further Education. In terms of practice, the thesis resulted in the establishment of a collaborative group of critical educators in the north of England, as well as the founding of a new sixth form college as a site where critical approaches are welcome and encouraged.

June 2015 final version - Copy.pdf - Accepted Version
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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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