BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Critical pedagogies and Higher Education in Global Majority Contexts

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC34052
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


‘Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called to think of themselves as belonging to the global majority. It refers to people who are Black, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or have been racialised as 'ethnic minorities' (Campbell-Stevens, 2020).

Higher education is seen as fundamental to reducing poverty and inequality, and improving across the Global Majority contexts. Yet, higher education has

The course unit approaches the core concepts of critical pedagogy, especially seminal thinkers and theorists in/from the hemispheric south, and applies these to higher education contexts in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Pacific.

Through dialogic methods and critical reflection, we will examine the dialectical, dynamic and evolving nature of higher education, and the assumptions, actions, and outcomes of critical pedagogy within higher education settings.

The course is built around weekly case studies in/drawn from diverse global contexts and focused on specific themes including:

  • Higher Education culture
  • Decolonial education
  • The role of indigenous knowledge
  • Power and marginalization
  • Hegemony and ideology
  • The politics of knowledge
  • Education as a service industry
  • Social justice and equity
  • Critical praxis and the role of the teacher
  • Critical pedagogy and life-long learning

Students will use these to anchor discussions in whole class or small groups, and develop rich questions to take the conversation further. A reflective narrative representing this discussion and learning is expected every three weeks.


Adopt a critical perspective to understand ways in which pedagogical practices in higher education are rooted in colonialism and Empire

Consider the role that critical pedagogy may play in developing understandings of how issues of power, culture, and consciousness shape education, education systems, and educational research

Examine the emergence and development of critical pedagogy through concepts offered by feminist, racial and class-based critiques in/from the global south

Enhance critical awareness of the complex role of globalising influences and processes, that make higher education in Global Majority Contexts (GMCs) profoundly unequal, gendered and racialised

Establish assumptions, actions, and outcomes of critical pedagogy, and promote critical praxis and pedagogy

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • analyse non-hegemonic perspectives on education, and question the legitimacy and limitations of dominant discourses on education in the global majority contexts.
  • demonstrate nuanced knowledge and understanding of the potentialities and complexities of a critical pedagogy for higher education
  • identify how the concepts and principles of critical pedagogy can address issues in a range of higher education settings
  • identify and effectively navigate methodological and ethical complexities of researching higher education in the global south

Intellectual skills

  • critically engage with transdisciplinary thinking and research through a range of decolonial frameworks
  • identify, reflect upon, and discuss own and others’ thinking to the role of critical pedagogies in higher education
  • review higher education processes and practices in the light of emerging understandings of scholarship in/from the hemispheric south

Practical skills

  • independently source a wide range of conceptual and empirical material related to education processes
  • synthesise these materials in a coherent and structured way for a variety of oral and written purposes
  • construct and sustain argument in a reasoned and analytical manner

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • integrate digital technology tools in written, oral, non-verbal, formal or informal processes to present and appraise own and peer work
  • use the discussion and debate with peers and tutors during the unit and in previous and parallel units to develop own scholarship
  • interact and communicate with peers and tutors in large and small groups, with a sense of consideration and support for others
  • centre social justice and transformational change in the study of higher education

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching is delivered through a combination of traditional and participatory learning, presented through tutor-led and student-led input in lectures, group discussions and independent learning, in face-to-face and online modes.

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting Word length

Annotated bibliography: Develop a key theme into a title and compile an annotated bibliography for the podcast

30% 750

Non-assessed Real World Case Study proposal

formative 250

A narrative podcast about a Real World Case Study: A specific pedagogy for higher education in/from one Global Majority context

70% 15 minutes


Recommended reading

Detailed lists of reading on specific topics will be provided for students.  The following is a list of some key publications:

Bhambra, G.K., Gebrial, D. and Nişancıoğlu, K. (2018). Decolonising the university . London: Pluto Press.

Canute S. Thompson, Sheron Fraser-Burgess and Thenjiwe Major. (2019). Towards a Philosophy of Education for the Caribbean: Exploring African Models of Integrating Theory and Praxis. Journal of thought, 53(3/4), pp.53–72.

Cowden, S. et al. (2013). Acts of knowing : critical pedagogy in, against and beyond the university . New York: Bloomsbury Academic

Cupples, J. and Grosfoguel, R. (2018). Unsettling Eurocentrism in the westernized university. 1st ed. London: Routledge.

Darder, A. (2018). The student guide to Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” (Illustrated
edition). Bloomsbury Academic.

Darder, A., Baltodano, P., & Torres, R.D. (Eds.). (2009). The critical pedagogy reader. Critical pedagogy: An introduction (pp. 1-20). New York, NY: Routledge.

Escobar, M. (1994). Paulo Freire on higher education : a dialogue at the National University of Mexico . In Albany: State University of New York Press

Freire, P. and Freire, P. (1973). Education for critical consciousness . 1st American ed. London: Sheed and Ward

Freire, P., Ramos, M.B. and Freire, P. (1976). Education, the practice of freedom. London: Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative.

Giroux, H.A. (2010). Rethinking Education as the Practice of Freedom: Paulo Freire and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy. Policy futures in education, 8(6), pp.715–721.

Hayes, K., Steinberg, S.R. and Tobin, K. (2011). Key Works in Critical Pedagogy . Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress : education as the practice of freedom . New York: Routledge.

Kumar, R. (2015). Neoliberalism, Critical Pedagogy and Education. London: Taylor & Francis Group.

Macrine, S.L. (2020). Critical pedagogy in uncertain times : hope and possibilities . 2nd ed. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan

Maringe, F. and Ojo, E. (2017). Sustainable Transformation in African Higher Education: Research, Governance, Gender, Funding, Teaching and Learning in the African University. Dordrecht: BRILL.

Mayaba, N.N., Ralarala, M.K. and Angu, P. (2018). Student voice: Perspectives on language and critical pedagogy in South African higher education. Educational Research for Social Change, 7(1), pp.1–12

Nyoni, J. (2019). Decolonising the higher education curriculum : an analysis of African intellectual readiness to break the chains of a colonial caged mentality. Transformation in Higher Education, 4(1), pp.1–10.

Schendel, R. et al. (2020). Pedagogies for critical thinking at universities in Kenya, Ghana and Botswana: the importance of a collective ‘teaching culture. Teaching in higher education, pp.1–22

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Loretta Anthony-Okeke Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity Hours alocated
Teaching contact

30 hours of class contact plus 10 hours of additional contact through consultation hours, feedback sessions, and so on = 40

Directed study: preparatory reading before/after taught sessions                                                                                     60

Guided independent study: Preparation and actual reading/writing for assessment


Independent study: Completion of reflective exercises in Blackboard

Total 200


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