Decolonization of the Curriculum in Britain

Topic: Curriculums
Words: 1501 Pages: 7

The Need to Decolonize the Curriculum

One problem is that the curriculum for UK students no longer fits the current anti-colonialist and anti-racist agenda. What is required is a search for answers to fundamental questions about the appropriateness or suitability of existing curricula in both undergraduate, master’s, and other curricula (Shirley and Bagguley, 2021). Many educational institutions are ready for change and are practicing previously unknown teaching methods.

However, the amount of emotional cost associated with innovation must be assessed (Serdyukov, 2017). They constitute a significant part of the process of developing a decolonial education that will need to actualize the question of what knowledge is and what the learning process should be. All the more so because these changes are essential for both teachers and students, who will eventually begin to rethink their view of history (Zinga and Styres, 2019). These innovations encourage participants in the educational process to expand their curiosity and show more cultural sensitivity.

Pathways of Change and Their Potential Consequences

The way meetings are structured among academic leaders and how discussions among students take place should be changed. In bringing people into the collective space, organizers should offer different insights and thought-provoking perspectives. Changing how meetings are convened and conducted is a chance to draw on the wisdom and experience of those whose voices have been ignored (Gopal, 2021). Those who oppose decolonization may argue that we cannot simply discard all existing styles of behaving; that not all formations or methods are evil. But by taking the initiative in this collaborative and responsive way, meetings can be seen as a spiral, not a linear process.

People in academia must constantly move back and forth in search of solutions. In pursuit of better ways of understanding education in Britain today, those in the sector should look back and assess which ideas are still relevant and which should be eliminated (Gopal, 2021). If education is to be self-centered, academics and others must be invited to tap into the powerful knowledge they bring. They have a rich cultural resource that the academy should value.

Inclusion and Decolonization of the Curriculum

In connection with the introduction of inclusion, a unique role is played by forming relationships in the educational institution’s team. The specificity of this process lies in the change of attitude towards subjects of inclusion – towards students with special needs. They require humanitarian support, rehabilitation measures and services, and appropriate conditions to actualize their abilities (Kefallinou et al., 2020). They should be supported in developing personal qualities and in social, moral, and spiritual self-improvement. In view of the above, inclusive competence as a component of the professional competence of a teacher becomes extremely important (Kirillova and Ibragimov, 2020).

In particular, the structure of inclusive competence of future teachers of integrated public educational institutions covers several key semantic components of inclusive competence (Kirillova and Ibragimov, 2020). The latter include motivational, cognitive, reflective, and operational. These components are interpreted as the ability to realize the content of professional activity in the conditions of inclusive education.

For successful inclusion, it is also important to have inclusive competence by university teachers and students. Under the conditions of the educational space, there is a tangible influence of collective and individual values of the academic group on the value orientations of students affected by the consequences of colonialism. The system of value orientations of the individual student, reflecting the social environment’s values, can influence group norms and values. Individual value orientations of individual group members interact, and through personal relationships, their development and collective values depend on it (Kirillova and Ibragimov, 2020). The system of value orientations simultaneously regulates behavior and determines its purpose, which connects into a single whole the personality and the social environment.

Racial Prejudice and Measures to Combat It in Britain

The United Kingdom encountered a manifestation of “cultural racism” in the mid-twentieth century. Since the 1980s, scholars have used the term cultural racism to refer to a similar phenomenon that emerged in developed countries in the mid-twentieth century (Andrews, 2021). The essence of this phenomenon is as follows: society rejected new members (namely immigrants) on the pretext that their cultural attitudes prevented them from adapting to the culture and values of the host majority. Its emergence was due to the colored immigration of subjects from numerous colonies that began simultaneously, triggered by the collapse of the British colonial system (Tomlinson, 2018). As a result of the rapid pace of immigration, large and culturally distinct communities emerged within culturally homogeneous British society.

The occasion for introducing anti-racist legislation was the wave of riots in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The first anti-racial legislation had more of a symbolic effect and was intended to educate the public about the values of British society proclaimed by the government. Parliament clearly articulated the message that racial discrimination would not be encouraged in this country. In the 1960s and 1970s, the cultural gap between immigrant groups from the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia and the host British society was considered significant (Latour, 2017). Despite the historical connection and the fact that most newcomers knew English (the language of the metropolis), their presence in Britain stood out strongly against the overwhelming white majority.

Racism is a problem in Britain, with discrimination in society in the availability of education, housing, jobs, and police prejudice against people with darker skin tones. There was a flurry of public attention to the problem of racism in Britain in 1993, when a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, was murdered in London. It took 18 years to prove that two criminals had murdered a man because of racial hatred (BBC, 2018). Since this case, attention to racism in British society has increased manifold at all levels. However, despite the public attention to this issue, members of the black, Asian and ethnic minority populations still regularly experience discrimination (Mental Health Foundation, 2021).

Discrimination against immigrants and Muslims has increased in the United Kingdom over the past recent years; prejudice against Roma is rising. One way to change this situation could be to improve people’s level of education and critical awareness (Southa-Smith et al., 2021). Education can foster empathy and understanding, increase people’s knowledge and resistance to racist ideas, and develop critical-thinking skills (Southa-Smith et al., 2021). The coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affected BAME communities and highlighted the inequalities these communities face.

What matters, however, is the reasonableness of the penalties imposed on those who systematically discriminate against minorities and rehabilitate racism. For example, because of the long history of racism and discrimination in the United States, America’s legal system is the most punitive globally, and it continues to use the death penalty despite international censure (Muenster and Trone, 2016). For vast numbers of poor people in America, especially poor black men, prison is a destination that is naturally woven into ordinary life, akin to how school and college are part of the lives of wealthy whites. Mass incarceration, on a scale unprecedented in history, is a fundamental fact of the United States today.

Criminology Curricula and Their Decolonization

There are many stereotypes and prejudices about race in the world, but this does not mean that they are true. The explanation of crime by ethnicity and the view that people of one nationality are more likely to commit crimes is wrong. Cultures cannot be measured by formal indicators and compared to each other. Each case of interaction in which ethnic self-identification is actualized is different. All the more so that the state and society’s planned and scientifically coordinated activities contribute to the effective prevention of crime. A properly implemented criminal policy helps to reduce social tensions in general.

Criminology is concerned with examining the causes of crime, trying to figure out from what this phenomenon arises, how it can be controlled, and how it can be counted objectively. One of the problems with the decolonization movement is that only a few views dominate the curriculum content (Poitras Pratt et al., 2018). That is, the historical events being analyzed are viewed under the influence of a white, male, Western, capitalist, heterosexual, European worldview. This means that the content does not sufficiently reflect and undervalue the perspectives and experiences of those who do not fit into these mainstream categories. Consequently, there is no room for free research and expression. At the same time, the study of the crime itself is influenced by a particular, often racist, and colonial paradigm.

In today’s Great Britain, there is a process of even deeper social inequality in higher education. This is due to social stratification, the low standard of living of a part of the population, and society’s marginalization. Currently, social inequality in the education system is manifested in the lack of opportunity for most young people to acquire quality professional education (Hobbs and Mutebi, 2021). Therefore, it becomes the basis for the formation of new economic classes. The high level of education of the population increases the economic potential of the whole society and, consequently, the well-being of people.

Reference List

Andrews, A. ‘Truth, justice, and expertise in 1980s Britain: the cultural politics of the New Cross massacre, History Workshop Journal, 91(1), pp. 182–209. Web.

BBC. (2018). Stephen Lawrence murder: a timeline of how the story unfolded. Web.

Gopal, P. (2021) ‘On decolonisation and the university’, Textual Practice, 35(6), pp. 873-899. Web.

Hobbs, A. and Mutebi, N. (2021). Inequalities in education, and attainment gaps. Web.

Kefallinou, A., Symeonidou, S. and Meijer, C. (2020). ‘Understanding the value of inclusive education and its implementation: a review of the literature’, Prospects, 49, pp. 1-18. Web.

Kirillova, E. A. and Ibragimov, G. I. (2020). ‘The inclusive competence of future teachers’, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 20(2), pp. 180-185.

Latour, V. (2017). ‘Between consensus, consolidation and crisis: immigration and integration in 1970s Britain,’ Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique, pp.1-14.

Mental Health Foundation. (2021). Black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Web.

Muenster, B. and Trone, J. (2016). ‘Why is America so punitive? A report on the deliberations of the interdisciplinary roundtable on punitiveness in America’, Federal Sentencing Reporter, 28(5), pp. 340–47.

Poitras Pratt, Y., Louie, D., Hanson, A. and Ottmann, J. (2018). Indigenous education and decolonization, Oxford University Press.

Shirley, A. T. and Bagguley, P. (2017) ‘Building the anti-racist university: next steps’, Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(3), pp. 289-299. Web.

Serdyukov, P. (2017). ‘Innovation in education: what works, what doesn’t, and what to do about it?’, Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, 10(1), pp. 4-33. Web.

Souza-Smith, F. M., Albrechet-Souza, L., Avegno, E. M., Ball, C. D., Ferguson, T. F., Harrison-Bernard, L. M. and Molina P. E. ‘Perspectives against racism: educational and socialization efforts at the departmental level,’ Advances in Physiology Education, 45, pp. 720-729.

Tomlinson, S. (2018) ‘Enoch Powell, empires, immigrants and education’, Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(1), pp. 1-14. Web.

Zinga, D. and Styres, S. (2019) ‘Decolonizing curriculum: student resistances to anti-oppressive pedagogy’, Power and Education, 11(1), pp. 30–50. Web.

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