In her talk, Dr Jess McLean takes us on a journey to help understanding the degree of colonialisation that is present in all areas of education and discusses ways to tackle the process of decolonialisation in education. From her presentation it becomes clear that the effects of colonialisation do not stop at the classroom door or in our physical spaces, but are much more wide-reaching and particularly involve the digital space, too. If students use the internet for their research of a topic, their search output will be biased towards colonial ideas. It is important to guide students through the process of widening their horizon and to offer materials that help them see what good examples look like. Jess provided many interesting resources specifically to raise the voices of Indigenous people and described elements in her teaching on how she addresses decolonisation. Check out the full presentation below.
TILE Seminar in the academic year 2023-24:
This was our final TILE seminar in the current academic year. We would like to thank all speakers who contributed to our speaker series this year. You enriched our views in so many ways. Thank you for donating your time to share your expertise and insights. We would also like to thank all attendees this year who joined our talks, contributed questions, and shared resources. The TILE seminar would not exist without our speakers and attendees. It is always so rewarding to see people joining from around the globe and we hope we can continue increasing our reach.
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We will start planning our line-up for the next academic year soon! If you know of a speaker you would like to hear from or if you want to present your ideas, feel free to (self-)nominate: TILE Speaker Series Nomination for 2023-24 is now open!
The digital transformation of higher education learning and teaching is being intensified by multiple forces including the covid19 pandemic, neoliberalisation of institutions, and student care and employment realities. Using blended learning has been a popular approach to address the increasing flexibility that students require and to continue offering learning opportunities in constrained circumstances. With the increased use of blended learning and in recognition of changing higher education institutions, there are also generative possibilities emerging that may include greater centring of Indigenous knowledges and facilitation of decolonial moments in pedagogical practice. Drawing on a research program that evaluated efforts to introduce a blended classroom model and simultaneously decentre Western knowledges, this presentation offers reflections on the limits and potential of such work within Macquarie University, Australia. Students appreciated the opportunity to study differently and to challenge settler colonial hegemonic thinking, but this work is a partial contribution to a much more substantive moral imperative to transform higher education. As Tuck (2012) wrote, decolonisation is not a metaphor: within Australia, it would require settlers to give land and water back, centre Indigenous peoples as knowledge holders and teachers, and offer reparations. Digital transformations, such as introducing blended learning practices, at the very least should not reproduce colonial thinking and practices.
About the speaker:
Dr Jessica McLean does research on how humans, more-than-humans, environments and technologies interact to produce geographies of change. Her research focuses on digital technologies, water politics, climate action and activism. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Macquarie University where she teaches smart urbanism, Anthropocene politics, and environmental justice. In 2020, her book Changing Digital Geographies: Technologies, Environments and People was published that has contributed to shaping the emerging subdiscipline of digital geographies. Jess was founding co-Editor-in-Chief of the open access Digital Geography and Society journal and is currently an Associate Editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Within the Discipline of Geography and Planning at Macquarie, Jess is HDR Convenor and co-convenes the School of Social Sciences’ Environments and Societies Research Strength. Twitter: @jess_emclean; @geoplanMQ