Time to look anew: critical pedagogy and disciplines within higher education

Jan McArthur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract / Description of output

    This article explores the attitudes of writers within the tradition of critical pedagogy towards disciplines in higher education. With particular focus on Henry Giroux's work, it contrasts his portrayal of disciplines as closed, limiting and elitist with an alternative one of disciplines as complex, permeable and contested spaces. Critical pedagogy has a strong commitment to interdisciplinarity, and proponents regard interdisciplinary spaces as crucial to the pursuit of their emancipatory ideals. However, this article challenges the assumption of writers such as Giroux that disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are alternatives, and regards them instead as complementary. More complex understandings of interdisciplinarity, as well as disciplinarity, could also assist critical pedagogy to work through some of the theoretical and practical dilemmas associated with the myriad of ideas that this broad movement contains, and ensure it is better placed to resist current trends that appear to strip higher education of its wider social purposes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-315
    Number of pages15
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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