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April 20th, 2021 2:00 PM through  3:15 PM
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SWHE Network in Collaboration with ICHEM  

Drawing on the global interdisciplinary literature on decolonizing curriculum and pedagogy (DCP) in higher education over the past two decades, we critically examined the idea of “decolonizing” in the context of disciplines and universities around the world.  Based on a critical analysis of 207 articles/book chapters/conference proceedings published in English and centering a geopolitics of knowledge frame (Mignolo, 2003, 2011), we present three themes: a) decolonizing meaning/s b) actualizing decolonization, and c) challenges. We observed three major meanings of decolonization and four ways to actualize DCP that were driven by geographical, disciplinary, institutional and/or stakeholder contexts.  We argue that, while there are similarities within the literature, ultimately the meanings, actualizations and challenges of DCP are contextual, which has political and epistemological consequences. By contexts, we are referring to various containers and/or forces that shape, drive and/or underpin the various manifestations of meanings, actualizations, and/or challenges related to DCP.  We end by offering directions for educational research on DCP, revealing the possibility for a field or discipline of decolonial studies.



Riyad A. Shahjahan is an Associate Professor of Higher, Adult and Life Long Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. He is also a core faculty member of Muslim Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, Asian Studies, and Center for Advanced Study of International Development. His areas of research interests are in globalization of higher education, temporality and embodiment in higher education, cultural studies, and de/anti/postcolonial theory.

Annabelle L. Estera is an independent scholar who completed her doctorate work in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University. She also holds an M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Ohio State University. Her research interests include decolonizing higher education, discourses of diversity and multiculturalism, and staff in higher education

Kirsten T. Edwards is Linda Clarke Anderson Presidential Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, as well as core affiliate faculty for African and African American Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, and the Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Edwards is interested in the ways that socio-cultural identity and context influence teaching and learning in postsecondary education.


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