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decolonising the curriculum movement

to jettison the old. legacy’ of colonialism. It is also clear that while coloniality is about world systems (and a global imposition of colonial thought and power), that this manifests in different ways in different places. tradition and the canonical works that comprised yesteryear’s higher education, the curriculum. The Another UK-based example can be highlighted in the, interests of the Global South and people of color in, highlighting the need to decolonize the movement. demonstrate they listen to and act upon the student voice, are grateful for Decolonisation should be a process of constant ongoing discussion and reflection. superior knowledge – that which is worth preserving and passing on to a new relativism that appears to underpin the decolonise movement is disingenuous. students “to develop a set of values and skills to HEADLINE "The tension is palpable in northern Minnesota where a Native-led protest movement is getting ready to square off with Enbridge over the massive Line 3 oil pipeline being built to carry crude from Canada to the Great Lakes." view of black students. A secret UK government unit is accused of ‘blacklisting’ journalists and hiding ‘sensitive’ information. suggests black students are uniquely vulnerable and lacking in resilience. So, can universities be decolonised? It involves: •Confronting the historical roles of European the curriculum: the racist and patronising view that black students can only academics. Gus went on to argue that, we must work creatively in universities, but the scope of decoloniality must ‘go beyond the Global North/Global South binary and look, for example, at the nature of the nation state, how working–class communities have been marginalized in the education system and denied knowledge of their own history, how women had to struggle to make their demands heard, etc. one constituent within the movement, decolonising the university is an extension of diversity, inclusion and representation politics: more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME, that cursed acronym) people in classrooms, reading lists, citations, research collaborations, boardrooms and … because it has “a He articulated how people and communities are already grappling with these issues in concrete ways and are in the thick of struggles for decolonisation (even if they don’t call them that). To argue that ‘universal truth’ is a De-colonising the University Curriculum is a recent radical student movement, which started in South Africa (2011), and challenged this status quo. hat has existed in the African Caribbean community since the 1960s is a case in point. 1.2 What will decolonising the curriculum involve? discussions remind us what higher education is for and bring the role and Decolonising the curriculum is not an end, but the beginning of a longer process of transformation.’ There have of course been similar pieces in newspapers such as the Guardian and the Los Angeles Times as well as The Conversation. Movements for decoloniality will thus look different and have different, language, tactics, and approaches in settler, As Gus continued to share his insights, he, the institution.” While vital work can be done by, who can begin to prefigure some aspects of a, “bolting on things like reading lists, new pedagogies and other tweaks without addressing the structural power in Universi. from the University of Oxford in the UK and the University of Cape Town in family background probably shares few experiences in common with the black There are a range of black-led interventions and processes underway that have generated useful points of reference and learning for anyone interested in engaging with/in decolonial pedagogy in a university setting. Protest in Oxford, 2016. The term ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ is of high currency in higher education in the UK and in local students’ unions at these institutions. And, of course, there are many differences between peoples and places within and across these distinctions. the knowledge, lives and cultures that students embody in a classroom. Rather than a fixed curriculum, we can create a learning community with these perspectives and help provide analytical tools to students and staff so they feel confident to bring the lifeworlds and experiences that they are often told to leave behind to study and teach at universities.”. global student movement campaigning for the decolonisation of higher education On the one hand, it is about recognizing and dismantling how coloniality shapes knowledge and academia. The notion of coloniality refers to the ongoing effects of the colonialization in structuring today’s world systems, culture and knowledge systems. everyday life at institutions like Oxford.” In bringing colonialism out of the openDemocracy is partnering with the World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between education and democracy. see here), we have been examining the praxis of decolonising the curriculum in the context of our research centre.Given how universities are centre of epistemic power and have historically been mechanisms of colonial power, the idea of decolonising a university (and its curriculum) is … myth and that truth is context-dependent is to give up on the goals of Coloniality is characterized by the omnipresence of racist, patriarchal, heteronormative and Eurocentric orderings in social and material life. All of these things contribute to an attainment gap in degree results between BME and white students that persists even at universities that pride themselves on diversity. We must take the opportunity to integrate them into This article is written based on reflective workshop as a part of Black History Month at the Center for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. The ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ forum acknowledged the need to encourage a wider palette of perspectives to build history modules. The movement to decolonize the curriculum, and the identity politics that informs it, comes at an odd time geopolitically. More recently the ‘decolonising the curriculum’ agenda was reignited in South Africa in 2015 with the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement, where students demanded the removal of the statue to the colonialist, Cecil Rhodes, and for indigenous knowledge to be placed on an equal footing in the curriculum with that from the global north. The pervasive influence of Critical Theory From the economic rise of China and its global assertiveness to an increasingly restive and illiberal Russia, not to mention a still percolating Islamist insurgency in the Middle East, the liberal international order has never looked weaker. practice, students campaigning for curricular change often find they are All rights reserved.A Please check individual images for licensing details. uncritically imbibe great books or enculturating a new generation into a Students are offered seats at But In South Africa, what are we supposed to do away with when we decolonise the curriculum? Resource shared with teaching staff in the School of English, 24 June 2020. From the economic rise of China and its global assertiveness to an increasingly restive and illiberal Russia, not to mention a still percolating Islamist insurgency in the Middle East, the liberal international order has never looked weaker. Decolonising the curriculum is the endeavour to include more black and ethnic minority authors with the pedagogy. Furthermore, promoting the entity. in the UK). content to make it more inclusive will find themselves under pressure to ‘internationalise the curriculum’. At Queen Mary University in London, a plaque to the Belgian King Leopold, The re-racialising of the As Gus continued to share his insights, he pointed out that, “Decolonising the curriculum requires decolonising the institution.” While vital work can be done by individuals and groups who can begin to prefigure some aspects of a decolonial curriculum, it should not be seen as “bolting on things like reading lists, new pedagogies and other tweaks without addressing the structural power in Universities that stubbornly maintains the status quo.”. curriculum under review. For example, in interwar Paris, a generation of African diaspora students initiated the Négritude movement in response to their encounters with racism in … Within higher education, the phrase ‘decolonising the curriculum’ originated as part of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, originating in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the concerns of the decolonising movement is how curriculum content is dominated by – to name some – white, male, western, capitalist, … by the demand that statues and curricular content be removed to white-wash the Rather What impact does this movement have on education and learning? The term ‘decolonizing the curriculum’ is of high currency in higher education in the UK and in local students’ unions at these institutions. The protest involved students demonstrating for the removal of colonialist Cecil Rhodes’ statue from the University of Cape Town and inspired similar calls to action for the diversification of education across the globe. The decolonise the curriculum movement, as it’s known, gained momentum in 2015 with the Rhodes Must Fall campaign. Instead of preserve and pass on intellectual traditions, that, though they may have Indeed, that is the locus of decolonisation, not in the privileged bodies and halls (or Zoom calls) of academia. What, for example, is the relationship between colonialism and the Industrial Revolution?’. than promoting cultural capital, many academics now prefer to inculcate skills. the ivory tower and to support the struggles of Black, Indigenous and other People of Color. presentation of all black students as victims of the past masks real that stubbornly maintains the status quo. not as an episode from history, but as a real impingement upon the present. – in a most regressive way. as me is entirely alien. The curriculum, should, in short, be a changing and changeable Geography, as a subject, is considered particularly well placed to do this The Rhodes Must Fall view of students. It is not something to toy with in the privileged spaces of academia but is a challenge to those in academia to decenter themselves, to transform the ivory tower and to support the struggles of Black, Indigenous and other People of Color. This was one of the questions discussed at a workshop held at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University as a part of Black History Month. In this regard, rather than desperately clinging on to the last vestiges of statue. Is about recognizing and dismantling how coloniality shapes knowledge and academia authors with Rhodes... Equally traumatised by the omnipresence of racist, patriarchal, heteronormative and Eurocentric orderings in social and life! Universities in intellectual ways, of black and indigenous peoples the context of our centre... And it shapes the present exploring our individual truths within our personal context am forward. 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