Decolonising the Life Science Curricula at the University of Glasgow

Errico, L., Gatt, Z., Sherry, L. and Veitch, N. (2022) Decolonising the Life Science Curricula at the University of Glasgow. 15th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 29 Mar 2022.

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Movements such as the Rhodes Must Fall and Black Lives Matter have highlighted the need for ‘decolonising the curriculum’ efforts in academia. Decolonising the curriculum seeks to acknowledge and dismantle the way that imperialism and colonialism have shaped global education, with a focus on inclusion and visibility of a wider range of viewpoints which have been historically excluded. To create awareness of the Decolonising the Curriculum movement and its relevance to Life Sciences, tutorials were developed by students undertaking their final year projects and delivered to undergraduate students in the Microbiology and Immunology programmes at the University of Glasgow. The tutorials acted as an introduction to the movement, focusing on contextualising how the material linked to existing topics within their respective curricula, through group discussions and case studies. Knowledge progression as well as the resources produced, were evaluated by pre and post-questionnaires. Throughout the tutorial, students were receptive to and engaged with the subject material, taking active roles in group discussions. General feedback from students was largely positive with clear indications of knowledge progression. Thus, highlighting a desire for and value in the incorporation of ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ and other ‘Equality, Diversity, Inclusion’ material within their curricula. With ever-growing pressures to address issues of inequality and colonial histories, universities in the UK are slowly beginning to work with students and take action. Our work showcases the relevance and scope of these issues within Life Sciences subjects.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sherry, Dr Leighann and Veitch, Dr Nicola
Authors: Errico, L., Gatt, Z., Sherry, L., and Veitch, N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
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