Freedom of speech, freedom to teach, freedom to learn: The crisis of higher education in the post- truth era

Anatoly V. OLEKSIYENKO, Liz JACKSON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

With increasing influence of illiberalism, freedom should not be considered or interpreted lightly. Post-truth contexts provide grounds for alt-right movements to capture and pervert notions of freedom of speech, making universities battlefields of politicised emotions and expressions (Peters et al., 2019). In societies facing these pressures around the world, academic freedom has never been challenged as much as it is today (Gibbs, 2019). As Peters and colleagues note (2019), conceptualisations of ‘facts’ and ‘evidences’ are politically, socially, and epistemically reconstructed in post-truth contexts. At the same time, with intelligence commodified, reified or marginalised, freedom of speech and of mobility can entail fights for entitlements, or escapes from local responsibilities (Calitz, 2018; Lo, 2019). The decline and corruptions of democratic free speech and academic freedom, or the absence of forces to defend them, are thus serious challenges. These challenges grow as the competition of ideas, sometimes under the rubric of academic freedom, often implies the power struggle and questioning of statuses in the so-called ‘marketplace of ideas’. Competition as a value invoked in some conceptualisations of freedom, becomes more important than human dignity, which was originally supposed to expand and strengthen under democratic conceptions of freedom in higher education (Macfarlane, 2016). What had been happening to freedoms, of speech, teaching, and learning, across different subject positions and cultures of higher education, remains largely underexplored, as alt-right movements, neoliberalism and illiberalism, and post-truthism values and orientations expand. Copyright © 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Early online date04 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 Jun 2020

Citation

Oleksiyenko, A. V., & Jackson, L. (2020). Freedom of speech, freedom to teach, freedom to learn: The crisis of higher education in the post- truth era. Educational Philosophy and Theory. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1773800

Keywords

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom to teach
  • Freedom to learn
  • Academic freedom
  • Post-truth era
  • Higher education

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