Original Research

Engaging Paulo Freire on deliberative democracy: Dialogical pedagogy, deliberation and inclusion in a transformative higher education online education space

Doniwen Pietersen
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 7 | a211 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v7i0.211 | © 2022 Doniwen Pietersen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2022 | Published: 07 December 2022

About the author(s)

Doniwen Pietersen, Department of Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


An effective education system is an environment where students feel cared for, included and are able to deliver critical dialogical input in their learnings on Learning Management Systems (LMS) platforms. The article aims to epitomizes quality education where skills, values and equal distribution of resources can be accessed by all. This includes effectively trained lecturers who manages diversity and teach effectively, to foster success, and to provide a safe and friendly classroom environment for students. This article comes from a larger work done on how to administer clear dialogical and caring aims (policy) in higher online education spaces where students grow holistically and critically. The paper focuses on the kind of space lecturers need to create online in-order to provide students the opportunity to be part of a caring teaching and learning process in order to form part of an active citizenry beyond their immediate context. This article employed a qualitative research methodology, where a questionnaire was used for lecturers at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of the Free State. These questionnaires covered 30 lecturers who made use of the University’s LMS’ platform. The data was analyzed through the interpretivist paradigm. The finding in this article reveal that the little to no cultivation of critical pedagogical action vis-à-vis the enactment of activism and justice in and through higher education in the context of real pedagogical action in online (LMS) higher education spaces are important. The study is significant because it emphasizes a topic that are helpful in understanding how critical pedagogical action through Freire’s dialogical theory in the online (LMS) higher education platforms ought to be engaged.

Contribution: The contribution in this article is an amendment to Freire’s pedagogy frame work framed with the Faculty of Theology and Religion and extending his notion of dialogical engagement to deliberative action in the online (LMS) higher education space is critical tenant for student wholistic growth.


Paulo Freire’s dialogical pedagogy; deliberation theory; Learning Management Systems (LMS); transformation; higher education; teaching and learning; inclusion.


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