Building Anticolonial Spaces for Global Education: Challenges and Reflections

  • Jonathan Langdon
  • Blane Harvey
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 8)

In the fall of 2006, we co-taught a class of preservice teachers in a course somewhat ambiguously described in the university calendar as EDEC 301: Global Education.1 In the lead up to teaching this course, and on the basis of our past reflections on building a democratic classroom, we decided to approach the teaching of the course in an open, team-teaching manner, hoping this would encourage students to contribute to the dialogue of the class as it went along. At the same time, we also decided to take a stated position, what Harding (1998) terms “situating” oneself,2 and actively use the class as a site through which we would introduce students to an alternative, critical, and anticolonial vision of contemporary global systems. This approach to global education is quite different from those advocated by many mainstream global educators (see Werner and Case 1997; Case 1991); yet, as we shall explore below, it is an approach that is supported by a vocal group within the field that feels educators should not hide behind feigned objectivity in teaching issues that have profound implications for social justice (see Kiil 1994; Lyons 1992, 1995; Choldin 1989). In the approach we elaborate below, this situated social justice perspective is paired with anticolonial/anti-imperial education approaches, providing a useful starting point in challenging the current global status quo.


Preservice Teacher Focus Group Discussion Global Relation Global Education Dialogical Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Battiste, M. & Henderson, J. Youngblood (2000). Protecting Indigenous knowledge: a global challenge. Saskatoon: Purich PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Brookfield, S. (2001). Unmasking power: Foucault and adult learning. The Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 15(1).Google Scholar
  3. Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical. Education, knowledge and action research. Lewes: Falmer.Google Scholar
  4. Case, R. (1991). Key elements of a global perspective. Vancouver: University of British Columbia/ Simon Fraser University.Google Scholar
  5. Choldin, E. (1989). Letter to network members. Networks, 2, 2.Google Scholar
  6. Choules, K. (2007). Social change education: Context matters. Adult Education Quarterly, 57(2), 159–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dei, G. (2006). Introduction: Mapping the terrain — Towards a new politics of resistance. In G. Dei and A. Kempf (Eds.), Anti-colonialism and education. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  8. Dei, G. and Asgharzadeh, A. (2001). The power of social theory: The anti-colonial discursive framework. Journal of Educational Thought, 35(3), 297–323.Google Scholar
  9. Denzin, N. (2005). Emancipatory discourses and the ethics and politics of interpretation. In N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research. New York: Sage, 933–947.Google Scholar
  10. Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering development: The making and unmaking of the Third World. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  12. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder.Google Scholar
  13. Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writing. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  14. Foucault, M. (1991). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  15. Harding, S. (1998). Is science multi-cultural? Postcolonialisms, feminisms, and epistemologies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, D. (2003). The new imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kiil, S. (1994). Education for a positive future. Education for a Global Perspective, 4, 1–8.Google Scholar
  18. Kincheloe, J. (2001). Getting beyond the facts: Teaching social studies/social sciences in the twenty-first century. Rotterdam: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  19. Lyons, T. (1992). Education for a global perspective. Orbit, 23, 11.Google Scholar
  20. Lyons, T. (1995). Life beyond schooling. Toronto: Education for a Global Perspective Project.Google Scholar
  21. McGill University (2006). Course Calendar. Montreal: McGill University.Google Scholar
  22. Memmi, A. (1969). The colonizer and the colonized. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  23. Mohanty, C. T. (2006). One-third, two-third world. In P. Rothenburg (Ed.), Beyond borders: Thinking critically about global issues. New York: Worth.Google Scholar
  24. Noddings, N. (1992). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  25. O'Sullivan, E. (1996). The need for a holistic global perspective: In anticipation of the millennial turning point. Orbit, 27, 3–5.Google Scholar
  26. Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  27. Pike, G. (2000). A tapestry in the making: The strands of global education. In T. Goldstein and D. Selby (Eds.), Weaving connections: Educating for peace, social and environmental justice. Toronto: Sumach.Google Scholar
  28. Pike, G. and Selby, D. (2000). In the global classroom. Toronto: Pippin.Google Scholar
  29. Postman, N. (1996). The end of education: Redefining the value of school. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  30. Rist, G. (1997). The history of development: From Western origin to global faith. London: Zed.Google Scholar
  31. Said, E. (1979). Orientalism. New York, Vintage.Google Scholar
  32. Sardar, Z. (1999). Development and the locations of Eurocentrism. In R. Munck and D. O'Hearn (Eds.), Critical development theory. London: Zed.Google Scholar
  33. Shahjahan, R. A. (2005). Mapping the field of anti-colonial discourse to understand issues of Indigenous knowledges: Decolonizing praxis. McGill Journal of Education, 40(2), 213–240.Google Scholar
  34. Taylor, P. (1993). The texts of Paulo Freire, Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Tikly, L. (2004). Education and the new imperialism. Comparative Education, 40(2), 173–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tucker, V. (1999). The myth of development: A critique of a Eurocentric discourse. In R. Munck and D. O'Hearn (Eds.), Critical development theory. London: Zed.Google Scholar
  37. Tuhiwai-Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and Indigenous people. London: Zed and University of Otego Press.Google Scholar
  38. Young, R. (2001). Postcolonialism: an historical introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  39. Wells, M. (1996). Bringing a gender perspective to global education. Orbit, 27, 31–33.Google Scholar
  40. Werner, W. and Case, R. (1997). Themes of global education. In I. Wright and A. Sears (Eds.), Trends and issues in Canadian social studies. Vancouver: Pacific Educational Press.Google Scholar
  41. Willinsky, J. (1998). Learning to divide the World: Education at empire's end. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  42. Zinn, H. (1980). A people's history of the United States: 1492–present. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Langdon
  • Blane Harvey

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations