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From Decolonizing the Curriculum: Resources to help McDaniel College instructors to Decolonize their Curriculum.
Decolonizing the curriculum requires acknowledging that power dynamics impact our perception of knowledge, identifying systemic inequities in our current curriculum and pedagogy, exposing how the institution is structured to maintain colonial hierarchies and rethinking the current curriculum to make it more comprehensively inclusive.
Decolonizing the curriculum is not about:
1- Disregarding all of our current knowledge. Instead, it is critically analyzing the knowledge that we have obtained, how we have obtained it and why.
2- Adding a few people from marginalized groups to our curriculum; that’s tokenism. Instead, it is recognizing that there’s so much more knowledge that should be interwoven throughout our curriculum.
3- Teaching something that can only be implemented within the humanities and social sciences. It can also be done across the board, in all disciplines, within administration, and throughout the institution.
4- Producing programming and events. It is fostering ongoing discussion, collaboration, and experimentation amongst everyone within this community
Decolonizing the curriculum is about:
1- Reconstructing how we acquire, consider and impart knowledge. It involves revealing and reconsidering the influence of colonizing structures and systems, normative dominant modes of learning and centering of whiteness in scholarship.
2- Understanding that knowledge is not owned by any specific group and recognizing that knowledge is collectively produced by all groups of people and should be seen, researched, and presented as such.
3- Challenging each of us to go beyond the assumed and long held beliefs that white, Western, Eurocentric, heterosexual and male thought is the primary source of knowledge and beliefs, which are products of colonized thinking. Educators must commit to continually recognizing the collective influence of knowledge from all sources and be willing to continuously converse, collaborate, research and investigate with colleagues and students to a greater understanding.
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