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2019, Cilt 9, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 097-110
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2019.313
An Investigation of Students’ Opinions Related to the Authority of University Professors’ in Terms of Authority and Authoritarianism Duality
Arzu UZAY1, Belda BİLGİÇ2, Nihan DEMİRKASIMOĞLU1
1Hacettepe University, Institute of Educational Sciences, Department of Educational Sciences, Ankara, Turkey
2Ankara University, School of Foreign Languages, English Language Preparatory Unit, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Authority, Authoritarianism, Professor’s authority, Authorization, Student opinions

Authority is an essential part of learning-teaching processes. Generally, distinction is made between pedagogical authority and authoritarian use of power in educational studies. This distinction indicates continuous tension between positive and negative aspects of authority (Harjunen, 2009). Authority is constantly used in educational literature along with power embedded in authority. Power is discussed in relation to abuse of power as a means of oppression and domination in critical pedagogical studies (Rogers, 2011). Authoritarianism is used in the sense of “misuse, overuse, abuse of power” (Watt, 1982). Giroux (1988) and Freire’s (2005) proposals regarding these concepts, which discuss teacher’s professional power and pedagogical authority within confines of authority and authoritarian use of power dilemma, constitute the frame of this work. According to Giroux (2004), public and higher education are one of a few limited areas where students can learn how democratic living conditions can be improved and what individuals’ social citizenship skills mean. Professors’ pedagogical authority and universities playing a key role in the transformation of individuals and society in the face of students benefiting from education service is seen as a worthwhile subject for research. In this study, the opinions of graduate students who are studying in four different education programs under the institute of education sciences at a state university in Turkey, the source of the authority of the faculty and in it the pedagogical authority and authoritarianism dilemma of practical reflection and voltage aimed to analyze the empirical findings axis. It is aimed to analyze the source of the professor’s authority and its reflection on practice in duality and tension of pedagogical authority and authoritarianism through empirical findings. In this context, answers to such questions as what kind of authority professors use, what the source of their authority is, whether students can question this authority were asked for. The research was designed as a phenomenology from qualitative research designs. Criteria sampling technique was used in identifying participants. Semi-structured interview form including open-ended questions was used as a data collection tool. Students’ experience shows the source of the professor’s authority is not consistent with the qualifications they expect. Professor’s authority should be “knowledge in the discipline, the quality of work; however, students claimed professors’ authority comes from titles and legal authority.

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