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      Decolonising the school experience through poetry to foreground truth-telling and cognitive justice

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            Abstract

            While attempts to decolonise the school curriculum have been ongoing since the 1970s, the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the world have drawn urgent attention to the vast inequities faced by Black and First Nations peoples and people of colour. Decolonising education and other public institutions has become a front-line public concern around the world. In this article, we argue that poetry offers generative possibilities for the decolonisation of Australian high school (and university) curricula. Inspired by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander approaches to knowledge creation as intergenerational, iterative and intercultural, and by postcolonial and decolonial theories, we explore ways in which poetry events can begin decolonising and diversifying the school curriculum. We suggest that poetry creates spaces for deep listening with the heart ( dadirri) that can promote truth-telling about colonial histories and the strengths, achievements and contributions of First Nations Australians. These decolonising efforts underpin the Wandiny (Gathering Together) – Listen With the Heart: Uniting Nations Through Poetry research that we discuss in this article. In these ways, we argue that decolonised curricula create the conditions for cognitive justice in schooling that is an important precursor to other forms of social justice, such as equality, diversity and inclusion.

            Author and article information

            Journal
            LRE
            London Review of Education
            Lond. Rev. Educ.
            UCL Press
            1474-8479
            16 February 2022
            : 20
            : 1
            : 6
            Affiliations
            [1 ]School of Education and Tertiary Access, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; sdavidow@ 123456usc.edu.au (S.D.); awillis@ 123456usc.edu.au (A.W.)
            [2 ]School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; pwillia3@ 123456usc.edu.au (P.W.); MRaciti@ 123456usc.edu.au (M.R.)
            [3 ]Batchelor Institute, Australia; kathryn.gilbey@ 123456batchelor.edu.au (K.G.); sue.stanton@ 123456batchelor.edu.au (S.S.)
            [4 ]Kabi Kabi Elder (Sunshine Coast), Australia; hope.ochin@ 123456bigpond.com
            [5 ]Sunshine Coast, Australia; alisonhubychan@ 123456gmail.com
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: cmanathu@ 123456usc.edu.au
            Author information
            https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8915-0344
            https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8250-4744
            https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0548-3702
            Article
            LRE-20-6
            10.14324/LRE.20.1.06
            34b4430d-42c9-4c2b-9104-e10b9c408eab
            © 2022, Catherine Manathunga, Shelley Davidow, Paul Williams, Alison Willis, Maria Raciti, Kathryn Gilbey, Sue Stanton, Hope O’Chin and Alison Chan.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.20.1.06.

            History
            : 10 September 2021
            : 17 January 2022
            Page count
            Pages: 10
            Categories
            Research article
            Custom metadata
            Manathunga, C., Davidow, S., Williams, P., Willis, A., Raciti, M., Gilbey, K., Stanton, S., O’Chin, H. and Chan, A. (2022) ‘Decolonising the school experience through poetry to foreground truth-telling and cognitive justice’. London Review of Education, 20 (1), 6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/LRE.20.1.06.

            Education,Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Educational research & Statistics,General education
            cognitive justice,school curriculum,First Nations Australians,decolonisation,poetry,truth-telling

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