Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Greig, Christopher


Agency, Compressed Time, Critical Consciousness, Grounded Theory, Legitimate Power, Preservice Teachers




The study utilized grounded theory methods and methodology to explore how critical pedagogy, as practised by a small group of university education professors, shapes and influences the development of a critical consciousness (CC) among preservice teacher candidates. This study was prompted by the recognition that a limited number of empirical studies within the educational research literature examine the process and outcomes of socially just teaching and learning at the preservice level. The emerging grounded theory explains that facilitating CC among preservice teachers is a complex process that is mediated by pedagogical and institutional mechanisms. The institutional mechanisms of compressed time, limited opportunities for student agency, and lecture-based approaches to teaching were conveyed as having negative implications on developing a critical consciousness. However, there were “consciousness raising” learning experiences among the preservice teacher participants in this study when professors productively navigated these detrimental mechanisms by enacting legitimate forms of power and facilitating dialogical learning contexts. Navigating these mechanisms resulted in partially resisting the impact of the broader neoliberal contexts that shape day-to-day institutional practices.