Revisiting the student centered: Review of Bruce Macfarlane's Freedom to Learn: The Threat to Student Academic Freedom and Why it Needs to be Reclaimed.

Laura Louise Sarauw, Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu, Penny Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Has the orthodoxy of progressive pedagogy, or what praise as the student centered, become means of an overall managerial turn that erodes students’ freedom do learn? This is the main question in Bruce Macfarlane’s book Freedom to learn - The Threat to Student Academic Freedom and Why it Needs to be Reclaimed (2017). In eighth well-written chapters, Macfarlane explores an often-overlooked paradox in higher education teaching and learning: The idea of the student centered learning, deriving from humanist psychology and progressive pedagogy, has been hijacked by increased and continuous demands of bodily, cognitive and emotional performance that restricts students’ freedom to develop as autonomous adults. Macfarlane’s catch 22 is, however, that his heritage from humanist psychology, i.e. the idea that we as humans are born with an inner potential that we should be free to realise though education, paradoxically supports the neoliberal paradigm that he opposes throughout the book
Original languageDanish
JournalLearning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
ISSN1755-2273
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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