In CULTURE WARS: SCHOOL AND SOCIETY IN THE CONSERVATIVE RESTORATION, Ira Shor writes the following:
"Students will resist any process that disempowers them. Unequal, disabling education is symbolic violence against them, which they answer with their own skills of resistance--silence, disruption, non-performance, cheating, lateness, absence, vandalisim, etc. Very familiar school routines produce this alienation: teacher-talk, passive instruction in pre-set materials, punitive testing, moronic back-to-basics and mechanical drills, impersonal and shabby classrooms, tracking, the denial of sexual themes and other subjects important to them, the exclusion of student co-participation in curriculum design and governance, and the outlawing of popular idioms in favor of correct usage" (183).
A lot of composition theorist (particularly critical pedagogues) make these sorts of claims. They tell us that student resistance is rooted in the oppressive nature of teacher-oriented education. And I suppose that this argument makes sense, but it doesn't answer for why teachers who enact student-centered classrooms are also met with resistance. I wonder if it's not just an issue of youthful rebellion. No matter what your pedagogy--whether you downplay your authority or not--students will always view teachers as authorities and many of them will rebel accordingly.