Liberal Neutrality and Critical Pedagogy: Liberalism in Educational Policy, Practice, and Discourse

Chris Stangl

Abstract


In spite of the tendencies of neoliberalism, aspects of liberalism still can serve the democracy-advancing goals that should be at the heart of higher education. This article focuses on one of the most promising such principles: the concept of viewpoint neutrality as defined by the Supreme Court. Viewpoint neutrality prohibits public university administrators from censoring or defunding programming sponsored by recognized student organizations, including performances by outside groups invited by said organizations. Viewpoint neutrality mandates official allowance for robust group expression, thereby creating space for student groups to assert critical perspectives in an open forum regardless of what officials, who would be expected typically to favor the neoliberal orthodoxy, would prefer, as the specific case examined in the essay demonstrates.

 


Keywords


Critical Pedagogy; Liberalism; Viewpoint Neutrality; Higher Education

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education