Decolonising History – Keynote Lecture on “Decolonising the Curriculum: an introduction”
April 16, 2021 @ 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town called for the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the nineteenth-century British coloniser, to be removed from their campus. Their clarion call, in this quick spreading #RhodesMustFall movement, was that for diversity, inclusion and social justice to become a lived reality, the full gamut of educational provision should be challenged, and schools and universities decolonised. Concerns had long been voiced by both academics and students about curricula dominated by white, capitalist, heterosexist, western worldviews at the expense of the experiences and discourses of those not perceiving themselves as fitting into those mainstream categories. However, for change to happen, the dominant and deeply embedded Eurocentric knowledge and values systems underpinning the curriculum had to be transformed in order to take better account of cultural diversity and multiperspectivity. Moreover, institutional and structural change was also necessary: tuition fees should fall, and the recruitment, retention and outcomes for all students and staff should be equitable, rather than serving to reproduce ‘white privilege’.
This inter-active, inter-subjective presentation provides an introduction to the debates about the decolonising the curriculum movement; it explores its relevance for equity and social justice; and asks participants to reflect on their own practise and consider ways in which they can begin to create a personal strategy for change.
About Peter D’Sena
Peter D’Sena is Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. His key contributions to history education are borne from his enduring commitment, over four decades, to equality and inclusion. As a writer of the revised National Curriculum in the late 1990s he championed the introduction of black history; now he continues to lecture and write on decolonising the curriculum. As the HEA’s National Lead for History he organised the revision of the QAA Benchmark Statement and created innovative resources for those ‘New to Teaching’. He is a fellow of the Historical Association, a principal fellow of the HEA and last year he was elected to be the first President of SoTL’s European branch for History. Professor D’Sena is also Vice-President and Chair of Education Policy Committee at the Royal Historical Association.
Participation to the Keynote Lecture is free of charge