1st Edition

Possibilities and Complexities of Decolonising Higher Education Critical Perspectives on Praxis

Edited By Aneta Hayes, Kathy Luckett, Greg William Misiaszek Copyright 2023

    The chapters in this book highlight the possibilities and complexities of putting decolonial theory to work in higher education in Northern and Southern contexts across the globe. This book looks at decolonial work as praxis involving transformation at a range of levels from theoretical development, national policy, institutional policy and culture, academic discipline, programme, course, classroom, student and the self. Our authors argue that praxis in their contexts includes working at institutional level to undo the historical power of ‘coloniality’ in universities in the metropoles, introducing Indigenous knowledges into curricula and undoing the effects of ‘coloniality’ in embodiment, temporality and whiteness. We, as editors, argue for the need for transformation of the self as well as structures, and highlight qualities such as reflexivity on our own entanglements with coloniality, and why they occur, in this undoing. The approach offered in this book emphasises the connection between significant personal change as a pre-condition and an epistemological process to connect critical decolonial theory and our teaching practice. The book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Teaching in Higher Education.

    1. Introduction 

    Kathy Luckett, Aneta Hayes and Greg William Misiaszek 

    2. Struggling for the anti-racist university: learning from an institution-wide response to curriculum decolonisation 

    Richard Hall, Lucy Ansley, Paris Connolly, Sumeya Loonat, Kaushika Patel and Ben Whitham 

    3. From silence to ‘strategic advancement’: institutional responses to ‘decolonising’ in higher education in England 

    Farzana Shain, Ümit Kemal Yıldız, Veronica Poku and Bulent Gokay 

    4. Approaching global education development with a decolonial lens: teachers’ reflections 

    Sharanya Menon, Crystal Green, Irène Charbonneau, Elina Lehtomäki and Boby Mafi 

    5. Refusal as affective and pedagogical practice in higher education decolonization: a modest proposal 

    Michalinos Zembylas 

    6. Understanding the challenges entailed in decolonising a Higher Education institution: an organisational case study of a research-intensive South African university 

    Anwar Shaik and Peter Kahn 

    7. ‘Pillars of the colonial institution are like a knowledge prison’: the significance of decolonizing knowledge and pedagogical practice for Pacific early career academics in higher education 

    Marcia Leenen-Young, Sereana Naepi, Patrick Saulmatino Thomsen, David Taufui Mikato Fa’avae, Moeata Keil and Jacoba Matapo 

    8. Epistemic decolonisation in reconstituting higher education pedagogy in South Africa: the student perspective 

    Shireen Motala, Yusuf Sayed and Tarryn de Kock 

    9. Disrupting curricula and pedagogies in Latin American universities: six criteria for decolonising the university 

    Carolina Guzmán Valenzuela 

    10. Indigenizing Engineering education in Canada: critically considered 

    Jillian Seniuk Cicek, Alan Steele, Sarah Gauthier, Afua Adobea Mante, Pamela Wolf, Mary Robinson and Stephen Mattucci 

    11. Holding space for an Aboriginal approach towards Curriculum Reconciliation in an Australian university 

    Jade Kennedy, Alisa Percy, Lisa Thomas, Catherine Moyle and Janine Delahunty 

    12. A Calle decolonial hack: Afro-Latin theorizing of Philadelphia’s spaces of learning and resistance 

    Amalia Dache, Jasmine Blue, Devaun Bovell, Deja Miguest, Sydney Osifeso and Fabiola Tucux 

    13. Distilling pedagogies of critical water studies 

    Sheeva Sabati, Linnea Beckett, Kira Cragun-Rehders, Alyssa Najera, Katerina Hise and Anna Geiger 

    14. Decolonising while white: confronting race in a South African classroom 

    Sally Matthews 

    15. Navigating student resistance towards decolonizing curriculum and pedagogy (DCP): a temporal proposal 

    Kirsten T. Edwards and Riyad A. Shahjahan 

    16. Four ‘moments’ of intercultural encountering 

    Meike Wernicke 


    Aneta Hayes is Senior Lecturer in Education at Keele University, UK and Executive Editor for Teaching in Higher Education. Her research interests include critical studies of internationalisation (including decolonisation), teaching excellence and global education developments, including glocalised perspectives.

    Kathy Luckett is Emeritus Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town and Executive Editor for Teaching in Higher Education. Her research interests include the sociology of knowledge and curriculum studies in the Humanities, focusing on Africana, decolonial and postcolonial studies; and access, equity and multilingualism in higher education.

    Greg William Misiaszek is Associate Professor at Beijing Normal University’s (BNU) Faculty of Education and an Associate Director of the Paulo Freire Institute, UCLA. His work focuses on critical, Freirean environmental pedagogies (e.g., ecopedagogy) through theories of globalizations, citizenships, decoloniality, race, gender, Southern/Indigenous issues, linguistics, and postdigitalism, among other critical lenses.