Mind-blowing and desirable but challenging: Student perceptions of critical pedagogical teaching in university

2019 IJRSE – Volume 8 Issue 2


FitzSimmons, Robert
University of Lapland, Finland

Suoranta, Juha
University of Tampere, Finland

Uusiautti, Satu*
University of Lapland, Finland (Satu.Uusiautti@ulapland.fi)


Critical pedagogy is dedicated to having students deliberate in classroom praxis and to pose questions that may foster reflexivity when it comes to the ideological movement that is occurring. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the importance of critical pedagogy in higher learning institutions through two research questions: (1) What are university students perceptions of a critical pedagogy classroom and its usability in university studies? and (2) If given the opportunity, what would the students change about their university studies?  Altogether, 124 university students’ feedback was collected and analyzed with qualitative content analysis from five courses taught with the critical pedagogical approach at the University of Lapland, Finland. Their perceptions of critical pedagogy and desires for change in university teaching practices are introduced. Based on the findings, students had a strong desire for more teacher/peer contact and critical discussions in the learning process.

Keywords: critical pedagogy; student perception; higher education; reflexivity; neoliberalism


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2019.3025

*Corresponding Author