Democratizing politics and politicizing education: Critical pedagogy for active citizenship in the Taiwanese Sunflower Movement

Spyros Themelis (Lead Author), Tao-Chen Hsu

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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This article is the first to employ a Freirean framework to discuss the Taiwanese Sunflower Student Movement and its political, pedagogical and social significance. We analyse lecturers’ and students’ perspectives and experiences of civic responsibility in order to explore the relationship between critical pedagogy and student participation in the movement. The latter is an important development in politics and student activism, as it touched the lives of an entire generation of young Taiwanese and highlighted the value of active citizenship in the fight to improve democracy as praxis for social justice. This article makes a threefold contribution: first, it adds to our understanding of the processes through which movement participants cultivate their critical consciousness; second, it offers a new angle on a politically significant moment in Taiwanese history; and third, it uses this movement to illuminate forms of oppression that exist in society and education and ways to transform it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-194
Number of pages15
JournalEducation, Citizenship and Social Justice
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • active citizenship
  • critical pedagogy
  • Democracy
  • Social movements
  • Freire
  • praxis
  • social movements
  • democracy

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