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Decolonising Education: From Theory to Practice
Decipher how to decolonise educational practices
Recent world events including the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and the pulling down of the Colston statue in Bristol point to a rapid rise in concern about the persistence of colonial thinking and practices in our current institutions.
This course will help you to understand the nature of the colonial legacy on our current state of knowledge and learning practices, and how decolonisation of the curriculum is important for social and epistemic justice.
Identify the critical importance of decolonial theory in educational learning environments
This course is intended as a practical guide, with many examples, to help learners instigate meaningful decolonial changes in their own educational settings. You’ll gain an understanding of the history of colonialism and the legacy of colonial thought with respect to the development of universities and other educational institutions.
You’ll also identify the critical importance of decolonial approaches in creating fully-inclusive educational learning environments.
Gain the skills and knowledge to develop decolonial practices
You’ll assess appropriate actions that would be effective in developing decolonial practices in your own educational settings, and will cover the importance of combining top-down and bottom-up decolonial approaches.
Finally, you’ll understand how to lead a change process that includes students, colleagues and other stakeholders in a joint programme of decolonisation.
Learn from decolonisation lecturers at the University of Bristol
Throughout the course you’ll be learning from lecturers at the University of Bristol, which has a strategic commitment to decolonisation in its research and education.
[Course image credit: Getty/Harry Pugsley]
- Decolonisation of the curriculum: why it’s important for social and epistemic justice; what it is and isn’t
- Colonialism and its legacy for modern education and knowledge
- Why decolonisation has recently become a flashpoint, nationally and globally
- Identifying and engaging important stakeholders in schools and universities; the importance of combining top-down and bottom-up decolonial approaches; including an institution-wide approach
- Various practical approaches to decolonisation in the social sciences, sciences, health and the arts; their potential limitations and strengths
Learning on this course
You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Demonstrate an understanding of the history of colonialism and colonial thought with respect to the development of the university and other educational institutions
- Explain to your colleagues and peers the critical importance of decolonial approaches in creating a fully inclusive educational learning environment
- Identify and engage with the distinct legacies of colonialism across a range of disciplines in the social sciences, STEM and arts and humanities
- Identify and assess appropriate actions and approaches that would be effective in developing decolonial practices in your own educational setting
- Design and lead a change process that includes students, colleagues and other stakeholders in a joint programme of decolonisation.
Who is the course for?
This course is aimed primarily at university professionals and academic staff and students thinking about practical decolonisation at an institutional level.
This course will also be useful for teachers and leadership team members in schools and colleges.
It also may appeal to general learners interested in the current surge of interest in the colonial legacy and what decolonisation of knowledge and learning entails.
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