Examining challenges and possibilities in the objective of a Decolonised Education

Marlon Moncrieffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines challenges and possibilities in the objective of a decolonised education. Beginning with key referents to the term decolonised education, this article then provides a unique presentation of decolonising the education of Eurocentric knowledge created through colonialism, empire and racism. This process is shown as enacted through a decolonial consciousness framed by a historical, social, cultural, intellectual, emotional and political disposition which takes action to reverse colonial knowledge. The article applies this decolonial consciousness in review and analysis of the intergenerational educational experiences of migrant 20th century African Caribbean people across the UK, and the ethnogenesis their Black British children in the face of a White British centric school system of epistemic inequality. The article provides critical review on the challenges and possibilities in advocating for decolonised education for the greater inclusion of Black British experiences against national curriculum policy discourses given by UK government over the last few decades. The critical focal point of the article is on the aims and contents of the primary school history curriculum and the uncritical teaching and learning perspectives in the delivery of this. Challenges to decolonising education, curriculum teaching and learning are presented, discussed and analysed through UK conservative/liberal democrat coalition government curriculum reforms of 2013 centred on restoring education, curriculum teaching and learning through an ethnic nationalist monocultural version of British national identity (whiteness) at the expense of multiculturalism (cultural diversity). This curriculum hierarchy of whiteness is contrasted by presentation and analysis of evidence-based research that decentres curriculum whiteness. Following this discussion is a review and analysis of debates and discussions in UK Parliament held in 2020 forced by heightened public appeals for a decolonised curriculum. Finally, this article concludes by reviewing examples of continued professional development in teacher education and research that seeks to advance and extend decolonial praxis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalOxford Research Encyclopaedia of Education.
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Decolonised Education; Curriculum; Eurocentrism; Whiteness; Anti-Racism


  • Decolonised Education
  • Curriculum
  • Eurocentrism
  • Whiteness
  • Anti-Racism


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