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The epistemic urgency of decolonised curriculums

Akbar, Azzan (2023) The epistemic urgency of decolonised curriculums. Journal of Philosophy of Education. ISSN 0309-8249

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jopedu/qhad081


In recent years there have been increasing calls to ‘decolonize’ the curriculum across different levels of education. This has been met with significant opposition at both the school and university levels. For many, there is a lack of clarity concerning why students, particularly in school, should study a decolonized curriculum. I reflect on the notion of an ‘epistemic urgency’ to decolonize the secondary school curriculum in England, and I focus particularly on History and Religious Education as examples. Using theories of epistemic injustice, and my own experiences in teaching, I build the case for this ‘urgency’ from two arguments: one from justice and one from purpose. On justice, I argue that current curricula create negative epistemic consequences that we might consider to be unjust. On purpose, I argue that some curricula also fail to meet the purposes that they are intended to meet, thereby creating further negative epistemic consequences. On both arguments, I hope to show that the negative epistemic consequences create an ‘urgency’ to decolonize curricula, which I hope encourages educators in England and beyond to begin considering whether decolonizing their curricula will lead to better outcomes for their learners.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2023 14:51
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:19

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