Title: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges in the Design of a Decolonization-Inspired Teaching & Learning Toolkit
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Yao Wang, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Surya Simon, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Suzanne Henry, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Thinh Pham, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Ulrike Theuerkauf, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Calls to "decolonize" Higher Education in the UK have been around for decades, and gained increasing impetus through student- and staff-led campaigns since the mid-2010s. Yet, the meaning of "decolonization" remains contested, and there are growing questions over its conceptual as well as material relationship with other university initiatives on "inclusivity", "diversity", "equality" and "change".
Drawing on research for a new Teaching & Learning Toolkit at the University of East Anglia, our paper contributes to the academic debate on the meaning of "Decolonized Curriculum" Design in Higher Education. Using a combination of primary and secondary data that has been collected since early 2022, we highlight two key challenges in the attempt to design a university-wide, decolonization-inspired toolkit: 1) the difficulties to find common terminology across subjects and disciplines, based on epistemological and deontological differences; and 2) how to broaden the debate on decolonization without violating decolonial principles of non-intrusiveness and voluntary participation. We will conclude with some reflections about how we seek to ensure that our toolkit research is more than a performative exercise.
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