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Decolonising Computing: A Resource for Educators

Decolonising the curriculum (DTC) is a university-wide initiative within the broader decolonising the university (DTU) project overseen by the EDI Dean with mandate from the VC. The current focus of DTC work in the STEM faculty is on Level 1 modules in all schools.

This exploratory project aims to complement that work by setting out a vision and roadmap for what computing could – and arguably should – mean for computing educators at the Open University once decolonised. It will do this by critically interrogating both content and pedagogy, informed by critical race theory and decolonial thought. The goal is to re-orient the teaching of the subject at module, curriculum and programme level. This re-orientation is informed by an attempt at developing materials aimed at educating students as critical practitioners, whereby ‘critical’ is understood a commitment to a decolonial ethics and politics.

The project assumes the form of a ‘deep dive’ that is complementary to university EDI initiative(s) targeted at addressing the degree awarding gap and DTC, yet focused on the specificities of computing and the curriculum within the School of Computing and Communications. The project will document the method employed, which is participatory, with a view to disseminating this as a proof-of-concept to educators within the school and the wider computing education sector, both national and international, about how existing computing material can be decolonised and colonialism prevented from being (re-)introduced into computing curricula. Insofar as the approach explored in the project may be replicable across other STEM disciplines, project outcomes will also be disseminated to the OU STEM faculty. As a longer term, post-project aim, it is envisaged that the outcomes of the project will inform the development of a workshop/training session for central academics and ALs, as well as computing educators within HE and industry more widely.

Related Resources: 
File Mustafa Ali et al project poster Oct 2022.pptx1.31 MB

Project poster.