Critical Pedagogy in Postgraduate Classroom: Students’ Perspectives

Hazie Ullah


Postgraduate classroom, in pedagogical discourses, is a physical space where learners can interact with their teachers and other learners, where they can share their experiences, ideas and knowledge, and put them into action for their individuals and collective change. This paper examines whether postgraduate classroom in Pakistan provides learners with the opportunity to widen their intellectual horizon through interactive learning and prepare them for jobs in the competitive knowledge based economy or equip them with ‘inflated credentials’. The data informing this study were gathered during fall 2015 semester from 20 (10 MS/M. Phil and 10 Ph. D) scholars at two public sector universities of Islamabad. Drawing on qualitative data, the paper employed Foucauldian discourses analysis as the key methodological and theoretical tool for understanding how postgraduate students describe their learning experience. Analyzing the data with the insights from Foucauldian discourses analysis (FDA), the paper explores a number of concerns, including the constitutive and constituted nature of teachers’ practices and teachers’ ideology. The study findings suggest that majority of the universities’ teachers are preachers rather than teachers. The paper stresses for the recognition and application of critical pedagogy in our postgraduate classroom. Based on the study findings, the paper suggest that postgraduate scholars should be treated as intellectuals who will engage in dialogue with their teachers and their peers to test their ideas and knowledge against the ideas and opinions of their teachers and class fellows.

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