Sam Rodgers, a Senior Lecturer in Nursing, lead a session on Decolonising the Curriculum, with a particular focus on work done by Keele Universities Decolonising the Curriculum network. Keele University defines Decolonisation as ‘the withdrawals from its colonies of a colonial power; the acquisition of political or economic independence by such colonies’, and also emphasised that Decolonisation goes beyond withdrawing colonial powers from a graphical space – it involves decolonising the mind of colonial ideas, especially those which made the colonised seem inferior. The session covered the underrepresentation of BME students in higher education, and why this may be, including that the curriculum remains largely Eurocentric and continues to reinforce white and Western dominance and privilege, whilst also being full of stereotypes, prejudices and a patronising view of non-white people and cultures. Keele University thus defined ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ as ‘creation of spaces and resources for a dialogue among all members of the university on how to imagine and envision all cultures and knowledge systems in the curriculum and with respect to what is being taught and how it frames the world’.
The session also covered Mbaki & Todorova’s (2020) approaches to decolonisation; teaching materials, history of the subjects, knowledge and production and current inequalities. Attendees were asked to think about; What does decolonisation mean to you? How does decolonising the curriculum affect your own discipline/subject area? How could you diversify your reading lists & provide opportunities for students to discuss the historical legacy of colonialism in your discipline/subject area? What skills/resources do we need to create safe spaces for colleagues and students to engage in critical self-reflection regarding their own privileges?
Sam passed along these useful resources for further education:
Keele Decolonising the Curriculum Network Keele decolonising the curriculum network – Keele University
Mbaki, Y and Todorova, E. (2020). Decolonising and diversifying the (Medical) Curriculum; Self-assessment Questions, Examples, and Resources. Available at:Decolonising and Diversifying the Medical Curriculum (nottingham.ac.uk)MasterClass - Decolonisng the Curriculum