Transformative learning through the inclusion of racialised discourse international development studies
Lilian Schofield (University College London)
Paper short abstract:
This paper seeks to explore how the inclusion of racialized discourse in international development education aid in building transformative learning experiences to students who embark on the programme.
Paper long abstract:
International development studies attract students from all over the world, many with the desire to make a positive contribution to the development agenda of their countries of origin or to developing countries. Part of the pedagogy planned around international development education includes the art of critical thinking, exposing students to the tools and techniques in promoting development and connecting students to research. With development discourse situated in a 'space' where the agenda is mostly driven by actors in the global north, this paper seeks to explore how the inclusion of racialized discourse in international development education aid in building transformative learning experiences to students. With an increased number of students calling on Higher Education Institutions to liberate the curriculum, delivering a truly transformative learning that shapes the industry should include diversifying the curriculum and confronting the silences on racialized discourse present within development practices. This is critical to truly opening up international development education because not only does it address real-life issues, it also provides an avenue to begin to confront the challenges present in working in the development industry. Deborah Eade (2010) touches on some of the difficulties faced by southern researchers in breaking into the development industry. She states that "if Southern researchers and development practitioners break into the international market, it is increasingly as consultants…". Transformative learning in higher education should be characterized by its nature to afford students with all-around learning experiences that afford them to be both critical thinkers as well as ethical practitioners.
"We want skills! You'll get critical thinking!" - Opening up international development education