Pedagogy as a discipline: Emergence, sustainability and professionalisation

John Canning

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In recent years, the emergence of pedagogy in higher education as an increasingly professionalised endeavour has been observed by a number of writers. In this article, I argue that pedagogy is developing the characteristics of a discipline, with its own methodologies, sense of community, and power dynamics. Whilst in principle, I welcome the formation of a discipline of higher education pedagogy, I warn against the danger that pedagogy will become increasingly divorced from the classroom context. I also call for those working in this discipline to develop and promote critical pedagogies that seek to challenge existing 'safe systems' (Guilherme & Phipps (2004) Critical pedagogy: political approaches to language and intercultural communication (Clevedon, Multilingual Matters)) in order to guard against pedagogy merely being a service unit, serving the whims of government, funding councils and institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


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