Decolonizing Pedagogies

While searching for articles relating to teaching practices that would support the learning of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students in educational settings, I came across the “Decolonizing Pedagogies Teacher Reference Booklet”.

The booklet was developed as part of a project (Aboriginal Focus School, Vancouver School Board) and discusses the concept of decolonizing teaching and learning approaches. The author, Heather E. McGregor, explains clearly what it means to decolonize pedagogies, why it’s necessary, and what are the challenges associated with it. In addition, she provides readers with two samples demonstrating how teachers have implemented decolonizing pedagogies in their classrooms.

McGregor states that decolonizing pedagogies can benefit all students (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal), however, in order to create opportunities to challenge and deconstruct “colonial understandings”, it is important that:

  • Teachers and students have access to appropriate materials and resources.
  • Learning activities foster collaborative interactions, reflection, discussions and a sense of belonging and identity.
  • Teachers deconstruct dominant perceptions of history, such that alternative histories are included to support Indigenous knowledge and enable students to create meaning, counter stereotypes and myths, and gain a better understanding of colonial oppression.

This resource would be helpful for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of what “decolonizing pedagogies” means and how different strategies can facilitate the deconstruction of colonial knowledge such that it creates a space for Indigenous knowledge and self-representation.

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