Mapping the freedom to learn: making the case for student academic freedom in Canada
Regnier, Angela Sylvia
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Academic freedom has been defined as having two components: the freedom to teach and the freedom to learn. However, whether there is truly a freedom to learn and how it intersects with general liberties is unresolved. Incorporating a critical pedagogical approach, this thesis explores whether Canadian post-secondary students have any such role-related rights. In aiming to map the conditions that might safeguard such a freedom to learn, certain civil liberties are examined - namely associational and expressive freedoms. A critique of contemporary jurisprudence and relevant legislation is situated within an historical and comparative context of academic freedom and students in Canada and United States. It examines how reinforcing robust civil liberties is necessary for supporting role related academic freedom rights on campus. This thesis proposes that it is necessary for both faculty and students to recognize the precarious and sometimes competing rights and freedoms to support the broader goals of academic freedom - to develop knowledge and inquiry for the common good and to foster critical independence of mind.