First of three online seminars on the topic of decolonising education for sustainable futures. Organised by UNESCO Chair on inclusive, and Quality Education for All, University of Bristol, these seminars are to consider how ideas about the future of education can benefit from current efforts to decolonise education.
The idea of sustainable futures lies at the heart of UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative which aims to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet by equipping learners with diverse ways of being and knowing. Yet much of the knowledge, values and skills that we are expected to learn in formal education systems have been Eurocentric in nature. That is to say that they draw primarily on Western frameworks and histories, excluding other ways of conceiving the natural and social world. Protests including those led by the Black Lives Matter, Rhodes Must Fall, Indigenous and other anti-colonial, anti-racist social movements have called for education to be decolonised and for diverse knowledge systems to be the basis for realising equitable and sustainable futures. These demands have become accentuated in the current crisis. This series is about the importance of recognising epistemic justice as a condition for realising social and environmental justice in and through education and training.