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Decolonising the Science Curriculum: Potential actions and a case study

Friday 14 May 2021, 1.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Neil Williams, Associate professor in Chemistry and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University

In Science, the term “decolonising the curriculum” can be a barrier to staff making changes as there are diverse views of what it means, and it may not be obvious how it applies to Science.

This presentation will review a variety of interpretations and its relevance to the Science curriculum. A set of potential actions to decolonise the curriculum, based on Swartz’s theses have been developed as a resource for Advance HE. Research on Science students’ views on which of these actions would be most effective in decolonising the curriculum was carried out. Students from a Black African background were the strongest advocates for these actions.

At Kingston University much of our work in this area has been framed within our Inclusive Curriculum Framework project which won the Guardian Teaching Excellence award in 2017. This work encompasses “a reconsideration of who is teaching, what the subject matter is and how it’s being taught”.  An example of how a chemistry module was reviewed using the framework and its positive impact on student outcomes and awarding gaps will be presented.

Location: Virtual