On the Importance of Collaborative Peer Learning as a Collective Learning Experience in Finnish Higher Education Classrooms

Robert FitzSimmons


This article discusses the need for collaborative learning in higher education as a means to advance a moral democracy in the classroom and in the community as well as the role of the neoliberal state in the commodification of knowledge and how this commodification has related to Finnish higher education. The transformation in Finnish education from the traditional Nordic model to the neoliberal model has stifled debate, deliberation and collaboration in the classroom. University students’ (N=150) evaluations that were given to the teacher after teaching thirteen courses in English reading comprehension and English oral skills in 2012-2013 formed the data of this study. The feedback was analyzed through qualitative content analysis by categorizing the answers according to the themes of meaningful learning experiences, abilities of critical thinking, and opinions on collaborative learning. As a conclusion, a direct-action pedagogy to counter the banking concept of education is stressed.



Neoliberalism; Direct-Action Pedagogy; Collaborative Learning; Sociological Imagination;Critical Dialogue

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education