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Decolonising the school curriculum: a special feature

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : UCL Press

Source : London Review of Education, 2023

Campus : Amritapuri

Verified : No

Year : 2023

Abstract : In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, and subsequent antiracism protests, calls to decolonise the school curriculum have gained traction around the world. Internationally, educational systems have been engaged for some time with how to decolonise their national school curricula in, for example, Australia (Harvey and Russell-Mundine, 2018), Bolivia (Lopes Cardozo, 2012), Canada (Munroe et al., 2013) and the USA (Ladson-Billings, 2014). Such discussions have been amplified following protests from the Black Lives Matter movement both in the UK and worldwide. A sharper focus on the causes of global protests and events has resulted in growing pressures on governments around the world to resolve perceived discriminations embedded within schools’ curricula, and to essentially ‘decolonise’ and diversify education. For instance, hundreds of thousands have signed petitions calling for schools not only to teach the links between the slave trade and imperialism, but also to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in history lessons, and in the school curriculum more widely (Arday et al., 2021). Collectively, this movement aspires to transform inaccurate syllabuses and exclusionary pedagogical practices, and to eradicate the biased knowledge that school curricula can produce, espouse and communicate. Scholars have argued that schools, like universities, can be important transformative sites of intervention and disruption in challenging colonialist legacies in the curriculum (and other structures) and in rehumanising these institutions (Dawson, 2020; Gleason and Franklin-Phipps, 2019). Others have warned of the dangers of relativism in the curriculum that may even entrench racial thinking (Williams, 2017).

Cite this Research Publication : Denise Miller, Shone Surendran, Emma Towers "Decolonising the school curriculum: a special feature", London Review of Education, 2023

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