Decolonising Education from Theory to Praxis – Seminar two: Conceptualising decolonisation as praxis
February 24 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
A BILT/CBH/UNESCO Global Chair/Bristol Conversations in Education Seminar series.
The aim of this online seminar is to set out our initial understanding of decolonisation as praxis. We will return to reconsider this understanding in the conclusion. The seminar will run from 1 – 2:30pm (last 30 mins is for discussion).
The seminar will commence by setting out some global themes concerning the decolonising debate as it has manifested in different geographical locations. It will present contemporary debates about decolonising education in relation to a genealogy of anti-colonial, postcolonial thinking about colonialism and education’s role in the colonial project and as a site for struggle against colonialism.
The key argument we will seek to advance here is that we must think about ‘decolonisation’ as an epistemic intervention that seeks to challenge the unspoken assumptions which we currently practice with respect to the question of knowledge and to consider the ways in which our extant intellectual practices remain rooted in the coloniality of power and, what it means to ‘decentre’ the colonial epistemology such that it becomes merely one epistemic tradition amongst many that we platform in our teaching and learning. At the same time, in this seminar, we draw attention to some of the tensions which have arisen with the increasing mainstreaming of decolonising discourse, particularly the tendency to conflate decolonisation with diversification; to view decolonisation in metaphorical terms; to sever decolonisation from wider conversations around structures of power and violence; to overly simplify what we mean by ‘decentred’ or ‘anti-colonial’ epistemology (see, for example, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, ‘Decolonization is not a Metaphor, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society, 1.1 (2012), 1-40).
The seminar will explore how these ideas have been interpreted and these tensions navigated across diverse disciplinary contexts drawing on examples from Economics, Literary Studies, Science, Engineering, History, Medicine, Law, Sociology, Management, Geography and Education. Drawing on ideas from critical pedagogy, the seminar will then make the case for considering decolonisation as an example of praxis in education, I.e. processes of ‘reflection and action directed at the structures to be transformed’ (Freire, 1973) that draw attention to the reciprocal and dialectical relationship between theory and practice, while remaining very much situated in specific contexts and structures of power.
Joining the seminar
You will be sent the joining link close to the date, the seminar will run from 1 – 2:30pm (last 30 mins is for discussion)