Decolonizing your curriculum. Don’t know where to start? You are not alone!

D. Verstegen
Universiteit Maastricht
Context / probleemstelling of aanleiding


Globally and in the Netherlands, there is growing attention for the consequences of our colonial past and how it still influences our education today. The production, nature and validity of knowledge production is not a neutral project. Eurocentric tradition leaves little room for non-western and multidisciplinary perspectives. The way that we look at diversity and differences is shaped by our colonial past and to achieve equity we need to recognize how the way that we teach may challenge cultural safety and critical consciousness.

All learners come into the educational system with potential assets, but our educational systems advantage some learners and disadvantage others. Educational institutions, through their curriculum, have a crucial role in the decolonization process: critically looking at the content of education, but also at the curriculum structures, and the educational methods that we use, such as how we design assignments, how we imagine group work, what we expect from learners’ reflective exercises, or how we mentor/coach learners.

Note: Workshop in English to enable second and third author to contribute their non-European perspectives. Acknowledging contributions of Zaidi, Mbuyi and Wyatt with whom a similar workshop was organized at AMEE 2023.


In this workshop we will delve into what it means to decolonize the curriculum while discussing concerns about undoing traditions, for example because those traditions may be based on theories and design principles that we see as crucial for optimal learning.

The goal is not to offer solutions, but to start up a thinking process. Intened learning outcomes:

Explain the importance of curriculum decolonization, acknowledging benefits and drawbacks.Provide examples from your everyday routine that illustrate the presence of colonialism in the curriculum.Reflect on strategies for decolonizing the curriculum.

Everybody involved in curriculum design and DEI-research.

Opzet: activiteiten en opbrengst:

After a short introduction (positionality and exposure to colonialism) and explanation of key concepts of colonialism & decolonialism, participantes will discuss vignets in small groups. The vignets are taken from health professions education and describe typical parts of a curriculum: an assignment applying certain theoretical models, a coaching situation, a literature search for a thesis, etc. In a Gallery Walk main ideas of each group will be presented. We conclude with key take aways.

Referenties (max 2.):

Wong, S., Gishen, F., & Lokugamage, A. (2021) ‘Decolonising the Medical Curriculum‘: Humanising medicine through epistemic pluralism, cultural safety and critical consciousness. London Review of Education. 2021. Vol. 19(1).

Zaidi, Z., Mbuyi, N., Wyatt, T, & Verstegen, D.. ‘Decolonizing the curriculum’. Workshop presented at AMEE 2023, August 26-30, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Max aantal deelnemers :


Beschrijving van de interventie/innovatie:
Ervaringen/analyse van de implementatie:
Lessons learned (implicaties voor de praktijk):

Curriculumontwerp Diversiteit Internationalisering

Wijze van presentatie:

Zorgverleners voor de wereld van morgen

15 en 16 mei Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee