Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Preparing to Decolonize My Syllabus

❏ I have read “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” by Tuck & Yang (2012) and understand decolonization is an ongoing endeavor and must be at the center dismantling anti-Black racism.  

❏ I understand that decolonization means resisting and actively unlearning the dangerous and harmful legacy of colonization, particularly the racist ideas that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) people are inferior to White Europeans.  

❏ I have a plan to “decolonize” my syllabus in community with others so that I can collaboratively identify how anti-Black racism and erasure of BiPOC experiences will show up in my syllabus planning.  

❏ I use Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality to identify how interlocking systems of oppressions (e.g., racism, sexism, xenophobia, nationalism, classism, ableism) set up BiPOC students and all students on the margins of teaching and learning, exposing them to societal harm.  

❏ If this is a syllabus I am revising, I have a plan to solicit and integrate previous feedback from students in developing my syllabus before, during, and after my class (and if not, I have considered developing a partial syllabus for student feedback and collaboration). I welcome and invite feedback from BiPOCstudents, being intentional about not asking them to educate me and being mindful of the power differentials between us.  

❏ I have considered how I may be “banking” (Freire, 1970) content “into” students - as opposed to creating a learning space of mutual respect, where it is possible to learn with and from students, to see students’ cultural backgrounds as strengths, and to view learning as a tool for decolonization and social justice.  

❏ I have asked myself what pedagogical approach and theory I am integrating into my course preparation, and how these theories may perpetuate harm to BiPOC folx and those on the margins of education.  

❏ I am aware of how using Black feminist, womanist, and other BiPOC-centered theories can help me identify sites, language, and policies of anti-Black racism and other oppression in my syllabus and course. Decolonize My Counseling Psychology Syllabus Checklist “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” -Angela Davis Adaptation of “Decolonize My Counseling Psychology Syllabus”  

❏ I have asked myself how I as an instructor can move beyond my institutional “requirements” and my past pedagogical moves in the classroom towards a liberatory redevelopment of my course so I can provide adequate support for BiPOC students and those on the margins.  

❏ I am aware that a core aspect of decolonization is self-examination of my institution and myself to challenge the idea that the syllabus and instructor are the ultimate authorities and holders of knowledge in the classroom and academia.  

❏ I am aware that neutrality is not possible in learning spaces, and that biases inform every aspect of learning institutions. I am prepared to discuss these biases and incorporate them into the learning.  

❏ I am aware that integrating my own personal experience, my students’, and our narratives into the learning space can serve as a tool for liberatory education, as well as a technique to ground learning in real life experiences with oppression.  

❏ I understand that fostering empathy and interconnectedness among students in the class, as well as towards communities outside of the classroom are learning outcomes that contribute towards decolonization