by Juha Suoranta and Robert FitzSimmons
Student Resistance in a Corporatized University
A silenced student merely receives pedagogical messages, consumes educational goods and is supposed to obey taken-for-granted orders of the university. In this article we illustrate how silencing happens as a consequence of a structural change in the balance of power between the Finnish government and the universities. The universities try to play safe due to the increased directive power of the government. This has had effects on how universities define the roles of students: in the changed conditions, the universities see students as clients whose purpose is to study and graduate, but not to revolt or act as political beings.
Keywords: Higher education, student protest, activism, education cuts, critical performance pedagogy.
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A video of a student speaking up against the minister’s—Alexander Stubb—speech regarding the early childhood education policy at University of Tampere.
Video taken by Juha Suoranta
To see more comments on this video, visit this web page.
About the Authors
Juha Suoranta is Tenured Professor of Adult Education in the University of Tampere, Finland. In his research work he has been interested in critical pedagogy, public sociology, and critical adult and media education. In his career he has worked as Visiting Scholar in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1996–97) and UCLA (2003), and as Visiting Professor in University of Minnesota (2005–6). In addition to his research work he has served as vice dean and dean in the Faculty of Education (University of Tampere, 2007–2012). He has authored, co-authored and edited 35 books among them Children in the Information Society (2004), Radical Education (2005, in Finnish), Education and the Spirit of Time (2006), Wikiworld(2010), Hidden in Plain Sight. How I Sheltered a Refugee(2011), Artistic Research Methodology (2014), Rebellious Research (2014, in Finnish) and C. Wright Mills’s Sociological Life (2017, in Finnish)
Robert FitzSimmons, PhD
Robert FitzSimmons is Lecturer in the University of Lapland, Finland, and
has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Critical Education and Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies.
Portrait photo credit to Harri Hinkka.