Curriculum

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A traditional rainmaker in Kenya. How can indigenous knowledge become part of university curricula? Department For International Development/International Development Research Centre/Thomas Omondi/Flickr

Decolonisation involves more than simply turning back the clock

Decolonisation of the curriculum doesn't have to mean the destruction of Western knowledge, but it's decentring. Such knowledge should become one way of knowing rather than the only way.
For some parents, home schooling helps to focus on a child’s individual needs, rather than just on grades. from www.shutterstock.com

More parents are choosing to home school their children – why?

Home-schooled children appear to do neither worse nor better than those who attend regular school, so why is there an increasing number of parents who are opting for their child to be educated at home?
Students cheer as a statue of Cecil John Rhodes is removed from the University of Cape Town in April 2015. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Decolonising the curriculum: it’s time for a strategy

There is a risk that because of fatigue, frustration and silencing the important moment created by South Africa's student movements will pass by with no proper, long-term structural change.
Students at Heritage College Lake Macquarie taking it in turns to draw each other in 3-5 minutes in a rapid drawing learning activity.

Why is teaching kids to draw not a more important part of the curriculum?

Drawing can help us to think creatively and develop hand-eye coordination. But an insecurity around 'not being able to draw' is preventing many high-school students from using this skill.
Students want colonial symbols, such as this statue of Cecil John Rhodes, gone from their universities. EPA/Nic Bothma

Decolonising universities isn’t an easy process – but it has to happen

Calls for the decolonisation of countries, institutions, the mind and of knowledge are not new. In South Africa, these changes are crucial and long overdue. But they must be carefully thought through.
The atmosphere in classrooms in Finland is more relaxed. Jari Sjölund

Do teachers in Finland have more autonomy?

October 5 is World Teachers' Day. How about paying some attention to how teachers experience their work? Do teachers in Finland have more autonomy when compared to those in the US?
Taking the curriculum “back to basics” will disadvantage kids who perhaps don’t have access to cultural and other knowledge at home. AAP/Tim Dornin

We lose more than we gain by paring back the curriculum

We run a significant risk that the divide between the haves and have-nots will widen even further through the "back to basics" curriculum approach advocated by Education Minister Pyne.
For every student who knowingly steals other people’s words and ideas, there are 10 who are not trying to be dishonest. From www.shutterstock.com

Policing plagiarism could make universities miss the real problems

For every student who intentionally steals others' work and passes it off as her own, there are ten who don't yet know how to build academic knowledge. They need our help, not condemnation.
Rather than rejecting all indigenous knowledge as witchcraft or as somehow inferior, we should explore the value in different knowledge systems. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Why indigenous knowledge has a place in the school science curriculum

There are valuable and authentic wisdom traditions in all cultures. How can indigenous knowledge be woven into the existing science curriculum?
A student protests against colonial-era statues at the University of Cape Town. Changing the curriculum structure is another way to decolonise South Africa’s universities. Mike Hutchings/Reuters

Decolonise more than just curriculum content – change the structure, too

It's not just the content of South Africa's university curricula that needs to be re-examined. The country's degree structure should be reconsidered, too.
If you think about it, producing graduates who can think critically is good for any society. From www.shutterstock.com

Working together for critical thinking in schools

The ability to think critically benefits individuals and societies. Why, then, is it so rare for critical thinking to be taught in schools?

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