Black History Month 2020: Decolonising the Curriculum?
Reflecting on Possibilities and Contradictions at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience
During Black History Month 2020, the Equity, Diversity and Decolonisation group at CAWR organised an online conference/workshop/discussion with the aims:
- To celebrate black history month within CAWR
- To learn from decolonising and anti–racism work within Coventry University
- To start a conversation on decolonising the curriculum, teaching and learning within CAWR
- To create an action plan for decolonising the curriculum, teaching and learning within CAWR
The Morning Panel focused on decolonising and anti–racism perspectives in Coventry University – and encouraged us to think about how Decolonising the curriculum is rooted in action for transforming society that is personal and political.
Here’s CAWR Director Michel Pimbert on Black History Month:
Some possible next steps to follow up on:
- Learn from other colleagues at CU who have been able to create more open ended, flexible curricula/course outlines and adopt such things here so we can have more room to maneuver (e.g. Architecture, Sociology, History)
- Take a holistic and systematic view of the MSc offering, how it knits together, in part from a decolonial perspective.
- Fostering more encounters beyond the academy within the MSc (field trips, etc.).
- Gain a better collective understanding of what it means to decolonize the curriculum and the implications for our practice (e.g. use of ‘Imperial’ units and language etc.)
- Look for good practices in the UK, to see how they might be adopted here at CAWR
- Capacity building: How can we support each other in our teaching methodologies? How do we do this online?
What is Black History Month and why is it important? The BBC writes:
“..Why is Black History Month important?
Black history month was first launched in London in the 1980s, where the aim was for the local community to challenge racism and educate themselves and others about the British history that was not taught in schools. Black people have been in Britain for a lot longer than previously thought – One of the oldest skeletons ever found was that of the Cheddar Man who had dark skin.
Archaeologists, the people who study human history through digging up sites looking at bones and ancient objects, think that he was alive during the stone age…”.