Introduction to Decolonisation

Lesson Plans: Week 9

Decolonising education practice

ILOs for the convener and students this week:

  • Develop ideas about what decolonised education could look like
  • Reflect on and critically discuss the significance of decolonising education

Lesson Structure

Activity 1: Class discussion of video (allocated time: 15 minutes)

Students will have watched ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ in preparation for the session.

Questions for discussion (can be done via Padlet and/or in student groups):

  • How much of higher education has been shaped by colonialism?
  • What positive changes have occurred to begin the decolonisation process?
  • What action still needs to be taken?

Activity 2: Class discussion of text (allocated time: 20 mins)

Students will have read Vanessa Andreotti’s ‘Theory without practice is idle, practice without theory is blind‘ prior to the session.

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is it important to integrate practice with theory in the field of development education?
  • What key concepts of postcolonial theory can contribute to the understanding of developing education?
  • What might a decolonised curriculum look like for a different group?

Activity 3: Creating guidelines for seminar participation (allocated time: 30 minutes)

The convener should ask the students to develop guidelines or a code of practice for a decolonial, liberational, and transformational classroom; the colonial practices and hierarchical structures of the current educational system may serve as ‘negative inspiration’. The convener should inform students that these guidelines will be used in the following weeks to shape their classroom experience — so everyone will have the chance to engage with these rules experientially (and perhaps adjust them accordingly). The students should work collectively, and the convener may need to facilitate.

Potential discussion prompts include:

  • What needs, perspectives, and outcomes are most relevant to each student?
  • How can they make sure that everyone is heard, included, considered?
  • What values need to be represented by the guidelines?

Supporting information for this lesson can be found here.