Resisting neoliberalism: teacher education academics navigating precarious times

Bronwyn E. Wood, Rosalyn Black, Lucas Walsh, Kerri Anne Garrard, Margaret Bearman, Matthew Krehl Edward Thomas, Juliana Ryan, Nadia Infantes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


While the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic upon higher education institutions has been well documented, less is known about how academics themselves responded to these rapid changes. This paper analyses the experiences of teacher education academics from Australia and New Zealand (n = 13) who were interviewed during lengthy pandemic lockdowns. Whilst rarely using the language of resistance, participants revealed multiple ways they navigated these seemingly totalising forces of neoliberalism through working to maintain quality education, collegiality, criticality and care. Using theory to help inform our understandings of resistance, our study identified three forms of resistance that were underpinned by feminist, post-structural and critical pedagogy theories. In the face of likely ongoing uncertainty into the future, paying attention to how academics navigated the pandemic provides valuable insights into forms of emergent resistance in moments of extreme precarity in higher education, and the importance of these for continuity and hope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-722
Number of pages16
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • pandemic
  • pedagogy
  • precarity
  • Resistance
  • teaching

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