Introduction to Decolonisation

Lesson Plans: Week 11

Living decolonially (macro)

ILOs for the convener and students this week:

  • Explore how you relate to nature in a decolonial world
  • Analyse the entanglement between climate issues and (de)colonisation
  • Reflect on the module and how you will apply learnings to future study

Lesson Structure

Activity 1: Reflection on how we relate to nature (allocated time: 25 minutes)

If possible, the convener should arrange a brief ‘field trip’ (this can be just outside the building) so the students can spend the first 5 minutes of class sitting or walking in nature; alternatively, the convener can ask them to spend some time in nature just before class. If neither of these options is possible, the convener could also use video/audio to generate a nature ambience in the classroom. Students should be invited to reflect on the following questions:

  • What is your relationship with nature?
  • Why is it the way it is?
  • What shapes it, actively and passively?

Next, the convener should give students an opportunity to use their mobile devices (working individually or in groups) to research and discuss the following terms in regards to their potential for decolonising our relationship to nature:

  • anthropocentrism
  • deep ecology
  • kinship / personhood

As a group, students should draw on their reflections and on their understanding of the new vocabulary to discuss the following:

  • How can we engage with these ideas in our daily life?
  • How can these concepts inform the way we as individuals and collectives relate to the natural world?

Activity 2: Debate (allocated time: 20 minutes)

Many of the leading causes of climate change, such as deforestation, industrialisation, and overconsumption are connected to the colonial system, from the forced displacement of indigenous Americans by American farmers and miners (Week 3), to the overconsumption of commodities and global systems of trade and exploitation (Week 10). The purpose of this activity is to bring together many of the topics discussed over the previous weeks to make connections between colonialism and climate change.

Students should debate the following question:

Can Indigenous and local knowledge be utilised in a decolonial way to combat the climate emergency or is it always going to be extractive and a form of appropriation?

Students may want to draw on the following reading to support their arguments:

Activity 3: Letter to future self (allocated time: 15 mins)

The convener should give students 10 minutes to write a short letter to themselves, reflecting on the ideas and discussions which resonated the most with them throughout the module. They should reflect upon which experiences or ideas they will carry with them into their future studies. The convener can provide an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and experiences if they feel comfortable; Padlet or Mentimeter could be used to allow the students to share their thoughts anonymously.

Supporting information for this lesson can be found here.