How can we analyse the world from a new critical and global perspective, and apply this approach in educational practice? What do we mean by ‘decolonising education’ in 21st century post-racial times in our ‘western’ liberal democratic nation states? How does ‘decolonising’ aim to redress colonial histories of violence, white privilege and reparations for past injustices? Why have movements to decolonise the curriculum and educational institutions been met with conflict and controversy in America, Britain and other parts of Europe? Why have these conflicts centered on freedom of speech versus safe spaces for students?
How does the process of decolonisation differ from our existing policies and practices to tackle institutional racism, diversity and inclusion in our ‘multicultural’, global, cosmopolitan schools and universities? How do we as educators respond to the (re) emergence of national narratives and the way in which belonging is defined ? How can teachers from primary, through to secondary, and into higher education approach intersectional issues of disability, gender, sexuality, race, faith and cultural difference in the classroom?
How does society enter the classroom? In which instances do teachers face challenging views on societal controversies among students? What are the triggers? How can we discuss complex and divisive issues? How can schools, instead of tackling separate controversies and hot topics, develop a comprehensive and cross-curricular approach to deal with sensitive situations and transform controversial subjects into learning opportunities? Does the Prevent Strategy affect discussions on sensitive topics?
Ilse Hakvoort (University of Gothenburg), Maria Carme Boqué Torremorell (Ramon Llull University), Christy Kulz (University of Cambridge), Shuhel Malique (Tower Hamlets Youth Sports Foundation), Joy Warmington (Brap)
Why do many schools hesitate to engage fully with the community? How support teachers to reconcile their dual role of educators and community members? How set up a dialogue with the wider school community that bridges different and possibly conflicting worldviews? How transcend the unequal distribution of (symbolic) power amongst the different parties involved in the wider school community? How deal with tensions and conflicts when you don’t speak the same language? In essence, how can we (re-)build mutual trust between the school and the community?
Balancing between their disciplining and emancipating functions, how do art, play and humour comfort dominant power relations, or, on the contrary, allow us to question, subvert and resist them? How can they introduce positive elements of disruption and novelty to situations that require improvement and transformation?
The panel will discuss how these practices allow us to address social conflicts, by enabling self-identification and self-representation, voicing difference and dissent, and creating forms of commonality and belonging.