Tag: Decolonising the Curriculum

Challenging Whiteness in the Curriculum

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

Academy of Sport and Physical Activity

The aim of this work is to raise awareness of a need to implement changes to the curriculum or to pedagogy to help decolonise the curriculum. At all staff meetings discussions of how this was possible took place and staff had the opportunity to take part in networking opportunities both on social media and physical networks. Within these meetings the status of the awareness of the BAME attainment gap was considered and staff agreed that this had improved since attending a workshop presentation by Jacqueline Stevenson (Hallam Guild) or Abdullah Okud (former SHU SU President). In addition, course leaders chose to open up a discussion at the Departmental Board on a need to Narrow the Gap.  A number of staff have actively engaged with Amanda (project lead) about the changes they are making in order to de-colonise their curriculums.

Upon reflection of the initial stages of the project it has been noted that the awareness of the need to Narrow the Gap is certainly higher now than a year ago as evidenced by the fact that all staff attended a workshop presentation by Jacqueline Stevenson (Hallam Guild) or Abdullah Okud (former SHU SU President). In addition, Course Leaderss chose to open up a discussion at the Departmental Board on a need to Narrow the Gap. A number of staff have emailed me or dropped by the talk to me about changes they have made or plan to make to the curriculum.

For further information contact the project lead Amanda West, a.j.west@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Framework for Inclusive Co-Design of assessment literature

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing (HWB)

This project is an initiative of the HWB BAME Working Group and aimed to enhance the inclusivity of the literature drawn on in courses by involving a diverse student voice in the design of literature.

The framework and proof-of-concept testing will provide a tangible output, which can be shared for implementation elsewhere in the university. The inclusive approach will ensure that it is transferable, replicable and scalable.

Upon a review of the project, the feedback suggested that the student’s had a much better understanding of what they were doing, “Understandable feedback that is used appropriately”.

For further information contact the project lead David Smith, d.p.smith@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Decolonising the Curriculum: Modules

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics (PSP)

The attempt to address low attainment, achievement, recruitment and retention amongst students from “BAME” heritages and backgrounds has taken place at various levels in PSP with each department striving to address its curriculum, and approaches within teaching, syllabus and content. Within politics and sociology, some members of staff have undertaken informal reviews of their modules and curricula and subsequently changed/included new material that addresses race and ethnicity related inequalities at structural, policy and practice levels. Within these disciplines new modules have been created which focus on scholarship, theory and practice from the global south.
Psychology has begun a subject-group wide audit based on a recent textbook that focussed on diversity, and inclusivity in psychology teaching and learning.
There has been a Race and Ethnicity Reading group convened by Dr. Jon Dean for all members of staff, and research staff. While attendance has been small, these sessions have been wonderfully helpful in raising awareness and allowing for important discussions on race, ethnicity and institutional racism and the visible and invisible privileges of whiteness.
Those members of staff who have engaged with the project have been open, generous and critical of their practice, and have changed their material as well as begun the work of self-reflection and examination. Those involved recognise that it is important to engage all staff though and this is something they are trying to address.
The PSP department are committed to continuing their work on the curriculum and tackling student and staff recruitment.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Anjana Raghavan a.raghavan@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Addressing Inclusivity, Equality and Diversity in Curricular Practice

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics (PSP)

The project had four main strands:

1.cultural/diversity critical awareness and reflection for staff (delivered through pilot workshops);
2. decolonising pedagogical practice (through upcoming curriculum review of reading lists, teaching methods etc);
3.review of marketing materials and practices (to increase BAME recruitment; centre a commitment to equality;
4. inclusiveness and representation); placement experiences (review of practice guidelines and student feedback forms).

The project raised staff awareness of issues facing BAME students. It has highlighted how staff need to review and, where necessary, revise their approach to the curriculum in the interests of making it more inclusive and to capture diverse voices. The Department has made a commitment to a thorough critical review of practice over the medium to long term.

It is hoped that the approach to curriculum development work in PSP will be transferable. Although the content of the curricula differs across subject groups, it should still be possible to identify the process, approach and key questions raised in reviewing curricula.

For further information contact the project lead Dr Anjana Raghavan, a.raghavan@shu.ac.uk

Status: ongoing

Decolonising reading lists

Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)

Department of Law and Criminology (DLC)

This action research project aimed to make reading lists in Law & Criminology more diverse and inclusive. All module leaders were asked to supply a reading list and module synopsis or enrol researchers onto Blackboard to access lists. The intended approach was to assess what percentage of titles on reading lists were authored by BAME scholars. The aim was to then recommend three additional readings from BAME scholars to module leaders who could then, assess these sources and, if approved, incorporate them into their module reading lists and lecture/seminar materials. If suggestions were deemed unsuitable (in relation to the course requirements) module leaders were encouraged to search for alternative readings authored by at least one BAME scholar.

The project is replicable. Once the method of measurement is defined then the initiative can be replicated across other departments.

For further information contact the project lead Larissa Povey, l.povey@shu.ac.uk

Status: completed

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