Introduction to Decolonisation

Lesson Plans: Week 3

‘Land back’ and settler colonialism

ILOs for the convener and students this week:

  • Demonstrate understanding of key concepts and theories related to settler colonialism
  • Apply theoretical knowledge to examine settler colonialism in different contexts
  • Critique the use of the term decolonisation in settler colonies

Lesson Structure

Activity 1: Discussion of the readings (allocated time: 10 minutes)
The convener should divide students into groups to discuss different experiences of settler colonialism. They can ask the following questions, out loud or via, e.g., Padlet:

  • What makes settler colonialism distinct from colonialism?
  • What key concepts have been used in settler colonialism? Were there any that were new to you/you didn’t understand?
  • What case studies are there of settler colonialism?

Activity 2: Geographical case studies of settler colonialism (allocated time: 30 minutes)
The convener should divide students into groups and assign one of the following case studies to each group: Australia, Canada, Palestine, Kashmir. Suggested readings on these case studies can be found in the module guide.
For each case study, students should include the following:

  • A summary of settler colonialism in the focal region (secondary/history)
  • An examination of how Indigenous peoples and the colonisers/state have interacted? (primary/present day)
  • A discussion of the limitations of settler colonialism as a paradigm (e.g., geographical vs. transnational)

Activity 3: Discussion of key text (allocated time: 15 minutes)
Students should read and discuss Tuck and Yang’s 2012 article, ‘Decolonization is not a metaphor
Discussion prompts include:

  • What are the implications of using decolonisation as a metaphor?
  • Where have you seen decolonisation being used as a metaphor?
  • Discuss this quote from the text: ‘Decolonisation brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools.’ What are your thoughts on this? How can we implement a material decolonisation that the authors describe?

Activity 4: Poem (allocated time: 5 minutes)
Students should read E.V. Lee’s 2017 poem, ‘Our revolution’. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society‘. Invite them to discuss a line or phrase that most resonates with them.

Supporting information for this lesson can be found here.