Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Marianne Larsen

Abstract

This thesis uses the qualitative case study approach to investigate current strategies and skills four Ontario public secondary school teachers apply both within and outside of the classroom to enhance students’ critical consciousness. The focus is on teachers’ pedagogical work in the era of neoliberal restructuring in order to provide a rich account of how neoliberalism challenges and affects their teaching. Existing literature shows a crisis of identity and political agency among youth in many Western societies, characterized by individuals’ inability to think critically about social, political and economic issues, which is rooted in neoliberal education reforms. Adopting a critical pedagogical lens, this research highlights the power of neoliberal trends that are embedded in the Ontario education system in ways that are often invisible to teachers. The study also demonstrates the lack of critical consciousness among some teachers, and the dire need for enhancing critical consciousness among teachers in Ontario.