Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

CCOG for ES 260 Winter 2024

View archive version »
Course Number:
ES 260
Course Title:
Decolonizing Education
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores decolonial theories of education in relation to classroom pedagogy. Considers the history and contemporary impact of colonial education in the United States and globally. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Identify educational policies and instructional practices that reproduce disparate educational outcomes for students based on race, ethnicity, class, gender, amongst other social identities and identifiers.
  2. Articulate the theory of liberatory praxis in relation to colonialism.
  3. Apply examples of liberatory approaches in education to the context of the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Map a sequence of workshops or lessons on participatory action research for their choice of K-12 student audience.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

This course meets the General Education status points through guiding students in assessing the historical role that education has played in the US, from the Indian Boarding School system to the current battles against Critical Race Theory. Students will reflect on their personal experiences within this broader context of schooling in the United States.

Aspirational Goals

This course aspires to:

  1. Help students connect their lived experiences of schooling with research and current scholarship on education in the United States

  2. Be a space of connection and relationships among learners

  3. Model a decolonial and liberatory praxis in its content and delivery

Course Activities and Design

Class meeting time consists of lecture, collaborative projects, Socratic seminars, fishbowl discussions, structured debates, and student presentations. Meeting time may also include the following: writing; viewing relevant films and documentaries; listening to audio materials such as music or oral histories; hosting guest speakers.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Specific assessment strategies are at the discretion of the instructor but should include a variety of formative assessments to test student learning. Instructors are encouraged to integrate the following kinds of tasks that assess student achievement of course outcomes in a holistic and comprehensive manner:

  • Short synthesis or analytical papers on specific concepts, issues and themes

  • Research papers

  • Oral presentations

  • Group presentations of research or analysis projects

  • Participation in small and large group discussions

  • Admit and exit ticket assignments

  • Hosted gallery walks

  • Reflection journals

  • Portfolios

  • Digital media projects

  • Oral histories and interviews

  • Community or public history projects

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, and Issues:       

  • Colonialism

  • Critical pedagogy

  • Decolonial pedagogy

  • Liberatory praxis

  • Neoliberalism and public education

  • School-to-prison pipeline

  • Historical construction of US education 

  • Language policies and colonial education

  • Social Justice curriculum design

  • Critical Race Theory and education

  • Youth participatory action research