Chapter 3.2: The ‘Pedagogies of Partnership’ in UK Higher Education: From Blair to Freire?
The language of partnership has emerged as a reaction against neo-liberal visions of HE as a marketplace with student customers and HE providers (National Union of Students, UK, A manifesto for partnership, 2012; Molesworth et al. 2011). Partnership is presented as the culmination and highest form of student engagement (NUS, National Union of Students, UK, A manifesto for partnership, 2012) with even the Quality Assurance Agency defining it as shared working ‘based on the values of: openness; trust and honesty; agreed shared goals and values; and regular communication between the partners’ (Quality Assurance Agency, UK, The UK quality code for higher education, Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality, Chapter B5: Student engagement, 2012: 3). So is the echo of Freire in the pedagogies of partnership intentional? This paper will explore the potential offered by the pedagogies of partnership to engage UK HE with the ideas and ideals of Paulo Freire but will also warn of the perils of domestication into ‘marketized’ HE practices.
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