What does it mean?
Decolonising is a complex and ongoing process, which is strongly connected to the University of Brighton’s commitment to anti-racism. It begins with recognising the impact that British and Western European colonial history has had on shaping the curriculum, teaching and structures of the university. Empowering students and staff to work together to achieve this is a key part of our strategy to create an inclusive learning and teaching environment for everyone.
To create a truly inclusive curriculum, it is important that we take this action to diversify and decolonise. It is an ongoing process which will require continuous reflection and adaption, as we learn more and as the diversity of our student community shifts.
To diversify the curriculum, we include a broader representation of voices, examples, topics, identities and communities, ensuring, where relevant to the subject, that representations are positive and not drawing on racist stereotypes.
To decolonise, we reflect on content in our curricula, questioning the weight given to historically dominant voices and making space to amplify those who have previously been silenced. We disrupt thinking within our disciplines that is canonical and Eurocentric, questioning established representations that set expectations of who can and who can’t be included within our subject spaces.
Decolonising the Curriculum
This twice-yearly cross-disciplinary publication offers staff and students the opportunity to reflect on practice and experience and to showcase initiatives.
Download it here (pdf):
Collaborating with students
The Inclusive Practice Partnerships (IPP) scheme aims to create a collaborative student-staff partnership that is focused on developing an inclusive, decolonised and diversified curriculum.
Students are able to apply to become Inclusive Practice Partners. They are paid for their time and have the opportunity to develop their interest in equality and diversity and their skills in collaborative working. They work with academic staff in their school as well as other IPPs, and are involved in activities such as reviewing curriculum content, developing resources on decolonising learning and teaching in their subject area and sharing the outcomes of their work.
The benefits of the programme include:
- Having a student perspective on curriculum design, content and delivery.
- Creating an inclusive curriculum.
- Creating new and diverse resources available for use in different subject areas.
- Creating a sense of belonging for students through the co-design of curricula and co-creation of resources with students and staff.
- Encouraging collaborative exchange between students and staff at university, within school and inter-school.
- Providing valuable training for students to develop transferable skills such as public speaking, facilitating groups and mentoring as well as supporting career development.
- Increased engagement from students in potential postgraduate study and further research.
Find out more about decolonising the curriculum
For more on the work being initiated by schools, follow these blogs: