Entertaining tensions: teaching with and learning from popular culture in professional education

Informa UK Limited
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 2023, ahead-of-print, (ahead-of-print), pp. 1-18
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This article discusses findings from an ongoing qualitative studies about the incorporation of popular culture in university-based professional education. The focus is on how popular culture can become a curricular resource to support learning about theory or concepts and contentious or sensitive issues, at a time when neoliberal trends of consumerist ideology and technical vocationalism influence professional education and universities generally. Students who enter programmes expecting an emphasis on work-related information risk missing content and experiences designed to foster their development as well-informed, curious, and ethical professionals. Three tensions that emerged in the analysis are highlighted: un/applied, in/attentive, and a/critical. After grounding the study theoretically and reviewing literature on university-based professional education and public pedagogy, those tensions are outlined using segments of data to suggest the potential and limitations of a pedagogical approach that can make education both critical and enjoyable.
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