Decolonising the curriculum. Contemplating academic culture(s), practice and strategies for change

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dc.contributor.author D’Sena, Peter
dc.contributor.editor Supple, Briony en
dc.contributor.editor Delahunty, Tom en
dc.date.accessioned 2020-11-05T09:47:06Z
dc.date.available 2020-11-05T09:47:06Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation D’Sena, P. (2019) 'Decolonising the curriculum. Contemplating academic culture(s), practice and strategies for change', Learning Connections 2019: Spaces, People, Practice, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, 5-6 December, pp. 58-62. doi: 10.33178/LC.2019.13 en
dc.identifier.startpage 58
dc.identifier.endpage 62
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/10722
dc.identifier.doi 10.33178/LC.2019.13
dc.description.abstract In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town called for the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the 19th century British coloniser, to be removed from their campus. Their clarion call, in this increasingly widespread #RhodesMustFall movement, was that for diversity, inclusion and social justice to become a lived reality in higher education (HE), the curriculum has to be ‘decolonised’. (Chantiluke, et al, 2018; Le Grange, 2016) This was to be done by challenging the longstanding, hegemonic Eurocentric production of knowledge and dominant values by accommodating alternative perspectives, epistemologies and content. Moreover, they also called for broader institutional changes: fees must fall, and the recruitment and retention of both students and staff should take better account of cultural diversity rather than working to socially reproduce ‘white privilege’ (Bhambra, et al, 2015) Concerns had long been voiced by both academics and students about curricula dominated by white, capitalist, heterosexual, western worldviews at the expense of the experiences and discourses of those not perceiving themselves as fitting into those mainstream categories (for an Afrocentric perspective, see inter alia, Asante, 1995; Hicks & Holden, 2007) The massification of HE across race and class lines in the past four decades has fuelled these debates; consequentially, the ‘fitness’ of curricula across disciplines are increasingly being questioned. Student representative bodies have also voiced the deeper concern that many pedagogic practices and assessment techniques in university systems serve to reproduce society’s broader inequalities. Certainly, in the UK, recent in-depth research has indicated that the outcomes of inequity are both multifaceted and tangible, with, for example, graduating students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds only receiving half as many ‘good’ (first class and upper second) degree classifications as their white counterparts (RHS, 2018). As a consequence of such findings and reports, the momentum for discussing the issues around diversifying and decolonising the university has gathered pace. Importantly, however, as the case and arguments have been expressed not only through peer reviewed articles and reports published by learned societies, but also in the popular press, the core issues have become more accessible than most academic debates and more readily discussed by both teachers and learners (Arday and Mirza, 2018; RHS, 2018). Hence, more recently, findings about the attainment/awarding gap have been taken seriously and given prominence by both Universities UK and the National Union of Students, though their shared conclusion is that radical (though yet to be determined) steps are needed if any movements or campaigns, such as #closingthegap are to find any success. (Universities UK, 2019; NUS, 2016; Shay, 2016) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.publisher National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education en
dc.rights © 2019, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
dc.subject Diversity en
dc.subject Inclusion en
dc.subject Social justice en
dc.subject Higher education en
dc.subject Curriculum en
dc.subject Decolonising en
dc.subject Institutional change en
dc.title Decolonising the curriculum. Contemplating academic culture(s), practice and strategies for change en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Peter D’Sena, University of Hertfordshire en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.conferencelocation University College Cork, Cork, Ireland en


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