From Transmission to Dialogue: Promoting Critical Engagement in Higher Education Teaching and Learning

June 2007

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 15, Issue 2  June 2007, pages 209 - 220 

Author's Website: Mohamed Moustakim


This article reports on a self-study that focuses on encouraging a group of undergraduate students to be active learners by promoting their critical engagement with what they are learning. The descriptions and explanations in the self-study give account of the contradictions and challenges encountered in my attempts to reconcile between students' perceptions of my 'authority' as the lecturer, constraints inherent in curriculum design and my commitment to dialogical education.

My pursuit of a democratic, critically engaged collaborative scholarship led me to reconceptualise my teaching and learning interactions with my students through the lens of a dynamic 'living educational theory', thereby negotiating contradictions while improving my educational practice.

The article concludes that, albeit somewhat attenuated, what Whitehead calls 'living contradictions' still persist and will require a re-examination of 'macro' objectives of the whole programme and further collaborative action, involving students and colleagues in the pursuit of dialogical education.

Updated: Jan. 07, 2008