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Theorising decolonisation in the context of lifelong learning and transnational migration: anti-colonial and anti-racist perspectives

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In the age of transnational migration, the practices and policies of lifelong learning in many immigrant-receiving countries continue to be impacted by the cultural and discursive politics of colonial legacies. Drawing on a wide range of anti-colonial and anti-racist scholarship, we argue for an approach to lifelong learning that aims to decolonise the ideological underpinnings of colonial relations of rule, especially in terms of its racialised privileging of ‘whiteness’ and Eurocentrism. In the context of lifelong learning, decolonisation would achieve four important purposes. First, it would illustrate the nexus between knowledge, power, and colonial narratives by interrogating how knowledge-making is a fundamental aspect of ‘coloniality’. Second, decolonisation would entail challenging the hegemony of western knowledge, education, and credentials and upholding a ‘multiculturalism of knowledge’ that is inclusive and responsive to the cultural needs and values of transnational migrants. Third, decolonisation would lead to the need for planning and designing learning curricula as well as institutionalised pedagogy based on non-western knowledge systems and epistemic diversity. The final emphasis is on the urgency to decolonise our minds as lifelong learners, practitioners and policy-makers in order to challenge the passivity, colonisation, and marginalisation of learners both in classrooms and workplaces.
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Keywords: Lifelong learning; anti-racism; decolonisation; skill; training; transnational migration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Glasgow, School of Education, Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2: University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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