Decolonising the Curriculum: Teaching and Learning about Race Equality

Marlon Moncrieffe (Editor), Yaa Asare, Robin Dunford, Jessica Harper, Shahnaz Biggs, Bhavik Patel, Emily Brooks, Uschi Klein, Gina Wisker, Annie Whilby, Fezile Sibanda

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Abstract

Brighton's #BlackLivesMatters (BLM) protests in June and July witnessed thousands and thousands of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds speaking together in one voice of unity and strength against racism. The public broadcasting of physical violence inflicted on George Floyd, and his subsequent death, was clear for all to see and to be appalled by. There are many other actions of violence towards black people that the heightened wave of BLM protests in the UK have sought to expose and dismantle. In Bristol, the tearing down of the symbolically violent statue of Robert Colston was to erase oppression caused by a daily reminder imposed on black people of Colston's and the city's past connections with the ugly transatlantic slave trade. Psychological violence is inflicted daily upon black people through the overt use of racist language in the workplace; by media; in football stadiums; in the language accepted by popular music; and through covert microaggressions that snipe at black people aiming to undermine their existence in dominant white spaces. The recent Windrush deportation scandal is clear example of this psychological violence. Black pupils' greater percentage of school exclusions; and black university students' lower rate of completion and achievement both point directly to conspiracies of institutional violence. The epistemic violence of Eurocentrism via the school curriculum has been exposed. Calls have become louder for space to be given to the teaching and learning of black history as part of a fuller, more representative teaching of the past. We acknowledge that the black experience of racist violence in the UK that we describe does not present the total reality of all non-white people in their life experiences. However, we see this as a black experience that is portable to situations where some identity dynamics are different, but the effects of racism look familiar. Decolonising the Eurocentric curriculum of teaching and learning is about seeing ‘white privilege’ and knowing how mindsets have been created and sustained by this. This is a challenge, as 'white privilege' has become the default setting of many in society, and as such has become invisible. It is therefore difficult to recognise, so needs to be deliberately deconstructed. Why? Decolonising the curiculum will equip all of our students and colleagues with greater opportunities to broaden their ways of seeing for more in-depth and considered ways of knowing. Decolonising the curriculum is a process that will advance professional practice for all in the 21st century. Processes of decolonisation are exemplified by the excellent interdisciplinary articles collated for Issue 3. We have sought to ensure that the contributions to Issue 3 reflect the diversity of experience and expertise from across the university including: current and former staff colleagues; current students and Alumni. Thank you for sharing your excellent articles and poems: Jessica Harper, Fezile Sibanda, Shahnaz Biggs, Emily Brooks & Professor Bhavik Patel, Dr Ushchi Klein, Emeritus Professor Gina Wisker, and Annie Whilby.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFalmer
PublisherUniversity of Brighton
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameDecolonising the Curriculum: Teaching and Learning about Race-Equality
PublisherUniversity of Brighton
No.3
ISSN (Print)2632-7937

Bibliographical note

© University of Brighton, Brighton UK

Keywords

  • Decolonising
  • Curriculum
  • Race-Equality
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Pedagogy

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  • Cite this

    Moncrieffe, M. (Ed.), Asare, Y., Dunford, R., Harper, J., Biggs, S., Patel, B., Brooks, E., Klein, U., Wisker, G., Whilby, A., & Sibanda, F. (2020). Decolonising the Curriculum: Teaching and Learning about Race Equality. (Decolonising the Curriculum: Teaching and Learning about Race-Equality; No. 3). University of Brighton.