If we are serious about decolonising education, we must prioritise research from the South, and fund it properly.
‘Decolonising’ academia means challenging the dominance of knowledge produced by historically privileged contexts and groups, and it is a trend that has taken higher education by storm. In the last year alone, I noticed numerous conferences, workshops, seminars, projects and reading groups, all focused on decolonising education, psychology, curricula and reading lists, research methods and ethics, teaching and learning.
At IOE’s Department of Psychology and Human Development, we have just set up an ‘epistemic justice working group’ to help us address the power imbalances between North and South in knowledge production and sharing, by reflecting on our curricula, teaching practice, and research. It is important to clarify that ‘North’ and ‘South’ do not necessarily denote geographical location. Instead, the ‘South’ is a metaphor for spaces historically characterised by inequality, poverty, and economic, political and cultural disadvantage.
In this post, I argue that these decolonisation-themed activities will remain empty rhetoric until we are prepared to see the South as of equal value (more…)