Suggestions for decolonising the science curriculum

Williams, Neil (2022) Suggestions for decolonising the science curriculum. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference 2022; 29-30 Jun 2022, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Previously we have reported Kingston University students understanding and views of decolonising the science curriculum, based on a survey completed in November 2019 (n=142) (Williams and Benjamin, 2022). This indicated that many students had limited understanding of decolonising the curriculum. However, the was a reasonable level of support for suggested actions to decolonise the curriculum. These actions were based on Swartz’s theses for decolonising the curriculum (Swartz, 2018). Support for actions was strongest from Black African/Caribbean students. Awareness and calls for action on decolonisation grew after the murder of George Floyd. In December 2020 students were surveyed (n= 46) again. The aims were to explore changes in science students’ understanding of decolonising the curriculum and after providing a simple definition, to investigate their views of actions to decolonise the curriculum. In this presentation a comparison of survey results before and after the murder of George Floyd will be given. The results highlight an increase in support for decolonising the science curriculum. To finish an animation which suggests ways to decolonise the curriculum, based on the student survey results, will be shown. The production of the animation was supported by an AdvanceHE Good Practice Grant (2020/21). Swartz, S. (2018) Decolonising the curriculum: what we can learn from global South theories and experiences. (Paper presented at the Institute of Education, University College, London Williams, N., and Benjamin, A. (2022). An investigation of students’ views on decolonising the science curriculum. Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, 15(1).

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