Classrooms as a space for imagination and hope

The post-pandemic university

Patric Wallin

This is part of a special collection celebrating the centenary of Paulo Freire’s birth.

Where do we go from here? From a situation where students shop courses, teachers measure satisfaction, and everyone complains about everything. From universities that proclaim that they are at the forefront of working with the UN sustainability goals, while at the same time contribute to the marketization of higher education that increasingly positions students as consumers and follows the imperatives of market logic, efficiency, and value for money.

I argue that at the intersection between teaching and research, activism emerges as praxis that aims at challenging neoliberal ideas of higher education. I further argue that teaching can create opportunities for students to learn how to ask difficult questions about the status quo and re-imagine a different kind of society and way of being. What this requires is that we need to reclaim…

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Published by Alexandre da Trindade

I am a Brazilian doctoral student at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. My research examines the role of higher education which goes beyond the traditional functions of teaching and research. I am particularly interested in how universities engage with communities, social movements and other sectors of society, contributing to the development of alternative futures (eg. Buen Viver, human flourishing), social justice, democratic societies and emancipated individuals. In this academic journey, I have a particular motivation to explore dialogical and ethnographic approaches and the philosophy of critical realism. I have a degree in marketing, where for 20 years, I worked mainly with technology and innovation projects. I have a special interest in engaging with networks such as the National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Education (Anped); Culture, Politics and Global Justice (CPGJ) research cluster; Center for Global Higher Education (CGHE); Faculty of Education Research Students’ Association (FERSA); Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research (CEDiR); Cambridge Global Challenges (CGC); Cambridge University Brazilian Society (CUBS).

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