The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Making a Place for Voice: Stories of Silencing and Speaking Out in Academia

Adrienne Sansom, Edite Hill-Denee



 In this article, we, the authors, revisit an event that occurred eighteen years ago in an academic setting and take a critical, retrospective look at how those events align with and reflect current situations in academia. In particular, the article draws on a research project that was guided by the authors and conducted by a group of recently-graduated teachers about their experiences of being silenced and unheard in an institutional environment as student teachers. The article addresses the aftermath and repercussions that resulted from the dissemination of the research as a presentation at a conference. The presentation revealed some raw and uncensored ‘truths’ or stories drawn from the teachers’ narratives. Continuing to draw on, as well as extending, the process of daredevil research (Jipson & Paley, 1997) and using a critical post-formal and post-structural lens, this writing, eighteen years later, is an endeavour to reveal, remember, rediscover, and uncover an event that occurred nearly twenty years ago; an event that, at the time, we had anticipated being a catalyst for changes in teacher education by encouraging the group of teachers to draw on elements of critical pedagogy in their presentation, while cognizant that this approach to pedagogy was very new, if not unknown, to teacher education at the time and thus presented a risk in terms of others’ understanding of the presentation.

Keywords: voice, institutional silencing, student experience, academia, power

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