Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Dr. Goli Rezai-Rashti



This thesis uses the qualitative case study approach to investigate the lived experience of three faculty members in higher education who identify themselves as critical pedagogues during an era of neoliberal restructuring. This research explores what the possibilities are for enacting critical pedagogies within a neoliberal climate of educational restructuring in higher education. Existing literature struggles to define neoliberalism as a result of globalization; further, present neoliberalization is penetrating all levels of social life and informing what many now accept as everyday thinking. The faculty members selected for this research each speaks to these struggles, while providing rich accounts of how neoliberalism challenges and concerns them; both, philosophically and pedagogically. This research highlights how at the start of the 21st Century a very compelling discourse on higher education is beginning to take place that seeks to inform how universities critically approach education and global education. This discourse reveals the concerns and potential for links in global higher education and future labour opportunities that are being created through the increasing mobility of people, markets, and knowledge. It also emphasizes the dire need for new ways in understanding how we envision higher education and global relations that are increasingly framed by neoliberal globalization. This discussion also brought to light how neoliberal trends have embedded themselves to such a degree in education it has created a mystique that might actually be a crisis of conscience; not politics, not economics.

Keywords: Higher education, neoliberalism, critical pedagogy, democracy, cosmopolitanism, global education, social justice and equity.