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Welcome to the Course

A quick overview of the course with an emphasis on week one.
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[Music] welcome to this course on decolonization my name is Alvin Birdi and i’m one of a team of instructors who’ll be your guides through it. You’ll meet the rest of the team in the next step. This course lasts for four weeks and we’ll spend the first week of the course trying to understand the colonial legacy terms like coloniality and decoloniality and what the process of decolonization might entail.
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In the following weeks we’ll look closely at subject area domains treating the social sciences and law in week two sciences and medicine in week three followed by humanities and the arts then in week four so our intention in this course is both to think in detail about how colonialism has affected each of these branches of knowledge but also to discuss some practical steps that one can take to try to shake off this legacy.
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By looking at a wide range of approaches to decolonization we hope to show that there is no single method of approaching decolonization but that the process of doing so is bound to involve a deep critical examination of the material we teach and also some of the ways in which we teach it. So in this first week we’ll consider the place of the university in the colonial legacy and also its current place in broader society. Since colonialism was such a pervasive and of course global process of domination we’ll discuss how the university must relate to its outside communities and indeed global movements if decolonization is to become a serious project and a reality.
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So we hope you’ll find the course both interesting and practically useful for your own work.

Welcome to this course on Decolonising Education: From Theory to Practice.

In this video, we introduce the course as a whole, but concentrate on what you might expect in week 1. This week, we explore:

  • key issues around language and terminology that relate to decolonisation

  • the concepts of decolonisation and decoloniality in a historical context

  • the relationship between colonialism and the university

  • examples from the city of Bristol on how people are engaging in decolonial work

  • global perspectives and histories of decolonisation

  • why decolonisation has become an important key word in the 21st century

As we will discuss across this course, developing a shared vision of what decolonising education means is an ongoing process. At the University of Bristol, this process emerges from practical efforts to decolonise the curriculum across the university and through engagement with the city and with global debates. Developing this course is itself one step in that journey.

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Decolonising Education: From Theory to Practice

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