The purpose of this studentship is to research pedagogy, and teaching practice, that utilises learning opportunities from beyond an undergraduate student’s home discipline in order to decolonise university curricula.
Its main objectives are:
- to evaluate the efficacy of learning ‘beyond discipline’ for decolonising initiatives in UK and international HE—for example, as practised in models of multi, inter or transdisciplinary learning; in civic engagements, placements or exchanges; and in other relevant pedagogic models currently in use;
- to develop the existing pedagogy by theorising new models of extra-disciplinary learning that might help drive the decolonising of HE curricula;
- to make recommendations for appropriate enhancements to University of Derby provision, incorporating the findings of the research.
The urgent need to decolonise university curricula, in order to tackle awarding gaps and promote equity and belonging through modes of inclusive teaching and learning, has prompted a wave of progressive pedagogy—much of it advocating shifts in the subject matter and perspectives embraced within particular disciplines, or changes to teaching tonality and style.
A small but developing body of research has begun discussing the impetus that engagement in learning beyond a home discipline can bring to decolonisation. Opportunities for interdisciplinary working, for example, have been found to encourage learners (and teachers) to reflect on their own discipline-centric understanding of what counts as knowledge, and on the hierarchies of legitimacy and value informing this, promoting diverse and inclusive approaches to knowledge-making and decolonisation of received pedagogic practice. This project will develop the emerging pedagogy in this area, making original contributions to knowledge—partly in its findings about existing and potential new learning modes, and partly in the recommendations it makes for specific applications of the research to curriculum development at the University of Derby.