Dr Charles Fonchingong Che (Canterbury Christ Church)

(United Kingdom)

Topic: Re-centring the Social Work Curriculum: Reflections on a decolonising framework

Language: English 


Formulating de-centring perspectives, through re-calibrating the narratives, and exploring other voices and perspectives to impact student learning is vital in re-shaping the social work curriculum. Through a decolonising framework, this paper engages with the epistemological and epistemic standpoints. The decolonising perspectives falls squarely within developing an inclusive curriculum geared as a guide towards the learner journey (University of Hertfordshire 2019).

Such a framework encapsulates reflections on the integration of diverse perspectives, consideration of ‘other voices’ in theory and epistemology and the process of selecting core texts and building up content that reflects multiple perspectives. Through the decolonising curriculum health check developed at Canterbury Christ Church university, a blueprint is provided, hinged on leading conversations within the MA social work course through scrutiny of problem-based learning. I critically reflect on strategies of diversifying the curriculum as part of MA social work course revalidation.

This pedagogical approach is in tandem with the instrumentality of learners in problem solving. Learners are encouraged to share and question their own perspectives and positionality. Along these lines, Ramsden (2003) advocates empowering learners to learn rather than just experiencing the transmission of knowledge. A sure way of achieving this is through active and problem-based learning using Bloom’s taxonomy, encouraging skills such as analysis and evaluation (Anderson et al., 2001).

This study makes proposals on re-centring social work curriculum, centred around teaching in an environment which enables students to create content collaboratively, and ask questions, which are likely to promote deeper learning (Beeson and Byles, 2020).