On digital teaching and the neoliberal machine

The post-pandemic university

Espen Hektoen


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

Paulo Freire‘s conscientization is becoming even more important in an age where discourses about students as consumers dominates pedagogical paradigms, and social consequences, as Henry Giroux points to, are blanketed by notions of pedagogical “neutrality”. When covid-19 broke out, many educators deservedly were praised for their competent flexibility in rapidly adjusting their teaching to the digital format overnight. The pandemic sped up the trend of digital teaching in higher education, a development that Linda Harasim describes originally occurred primarily for non-pedagogical reasons.

From a managerial perspective this might seem like a positive thing. The ushering in of an “inevitable” digital future, reducing logistics and streamlining information to a generation of recipients naively and inaccurately deemed “digital natives”. Administratively, almost nothing can go wrong – even the challenging concept of the third pedagogue

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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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