Decolonising Education: Fostering Conversations
Internal, CU Doctoral College Seed Funding
Coventry University (UK), Deakin University (Australia)
October 2019 to July 2020
This project aims to develop and pilot an approach to promoting conversations around decolonisation in higher education (HE). It will involve two universities exploring one another’s decolonisation of education practices using shared local and online storytelling and creativity within a framework of culturally responsive pedagogies. These institutions provide rich opportunities for comparison and cross-fertilisation of practices and discourses, including exploring whether and how such commitment to decolonialisation of educational practices is integrated, evidenced and experienced, and to raise awareness towards cross-cutting issues in the English speaking HE sector.
The central research question identified is: What are the conditions, practices and discourses that can promote inclusive and culturally responsive decolonisation in an HE organisation, and how are they evidenced, experienced and integrated, across three continents in the English speaking HE sector?
In addressing this question, the project has two aims: to raise awareness around barriers and supporting factors to decolonisation of education, and to open opportunities for conversations informing systemic change in, across and around HEIs.
Given these aims, the objectives will be to:
- Identify what informs existing decolonisation practices and discourses across these institutions, in terms of strategy, leadership involvement, literature and theoretical frames of reference
- Map out, through storytelling, interviews and workshops, how the implementation of decolonising practices, discourses and initiatives is experienced in the classroom, by focusing on specific cohorts of students already involved in decolonial thought through their modules, and who will function as a ‘microcosm’ for their institution
- Curate an online and internationally accessible platform hosting participant-generated narratives linking the three HEIs and detailing the successes, tensions and further opportunities around decolonising education
- Co-construct and share through the platform a set of context markers (i.e. shared patterns and key differences) that have been evidenced to support or hinder change in the three educational and organisational environments
- Develop and pilot the methodology itself as a set of flexible and context-sensitive activities providing a model as to how to engage in open, democratic conversations around decolonisation in HE