Student Rent-Strikes: Hope through unplanned critical pedagogy

Lucy J Wenham, Helen Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


We explore a site of unplanned, informal critical pedagogy and how raising critical conscious occurs. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many students in England were required to pay rent for accommodation they could not occupy, or which offered reduced amenities. These undergraduates, who were largely first years, had yet to meet each other. Nonetheless, these students joined together to resist collectively, refusing to pay rent. Their action resulted in some partial victories. Through the lens of Freire’s critical pedagogy, we examine students’ lived experiences of participating in rent-strikes – using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Ideas of dialogue, praxis and learning with others through collective resistance, pervade the data. The research fleshes-out these stages which interweave to raise critical consciousness. This offers a site of critical hope, providing insights into possibilities for realising critical pedagogy across a wider demographic despite a relentless neoliberal agenda.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jul 2023


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