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date: 13 June 2024

Coloniality, Student Mobilizations, and Higher Educationlocked

Coloniality, Student Mobilizations, and Higher Educationlocked

  • Leigh PatelLeigh PatelEducational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy, University of Pittsburgh

Summary

Higher education in many spaces worldwide has been a contested space and therefore marked by student protests against colonialism and its articulations of oppression since formal education was established. In times of social movements and change, protest in the streets also spread to college campuses, sometimes in global waves. The premiere institutions in the United States, the Ivy League, were built almost exclusively using enslaved labor. Both private and public colleges in Canada and the United States and other settler colonies occupy Indigenous lands, severing land from relation to First Peoples through ongoing genocide and erasure. Colonization and totalitarianism have prompted student protests in many regions of the world and at various times in history. Because higher education is itself is a contested space in various nation-states, long-historied traditions of student mobilizations have agitated higher education’s practices borne of occupation, extraction, and exclusivity. Changes in admissions policies, faculty hiring and retention, government support, and curriculum have all been impacted by student mobilizations. These changes have been subject to being tampered down by the sheer bureaucratic weight in higher education, but they have also made important changes in access to the knowledge systems that are taught in college classrooms and the impacts that graduates make beyond their college years. Dating back to the 1600s, student protest and mobilizations have been informed by internal political education that has shaped the design of public pedagogies through the form of protests. In lyrical fashion, student mobilizations, often formed in opposition to the university, have much to teach about collective struggles for freedom that are intertwined with learning.

Subjects

  • Educational Politics and Policy
  • Education and Society
  • Educational History

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