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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


BALLIM, Yunus. The place of teaching, learning and student development in a framework of academic freedom: Attending to the negative freedoms of our students. Journal of Education [online]. 2022, n.89, pp.186-200. ISSN 2520-9868.

In this paper, I argue for approaches to teaching, learning, and student development to be considered as important facets of the way in which the principles of academic freedom are conceptualised at university. The idea of academic freedom has been significantly expanded and better nuanced, particularly in its meaning at South African universities in the post-apartheid years, than the earlier T. B. Davie formulation that is more strongly focused on institutional autonomy aspects of academic freedom. Considerations of institutional autonomy relate to the positive freedoms that universities are to enjoy. However, I argue that consideration of student development in an academic freedom context requires that universities give thought to the negative freedoms that students are to enjoy such as the freedom from harm, or prejudice, or cycloptic approaches to ways of knowing. This requires careful attention to all the interactions that students will have with the university, particularly with the ways in which patterns of exclusion and prejudice are woven into institutional culture in ways that hamper their learning development.

Keywords : teaching and learning; university; academic freedom; negative freedoms; institutional culture.

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