Decolonizing Educational Relationships


For some time, scholars in settler colonial nations have been arguing for the need to decolonise education, for example, Mignolo in Argentina (2011), Smith in New Zealand (2012), Battiste in Canada (2013), Moreton-Robinson in Australia (2015) and Mbebe in South Africa (2016). Over a series of eight sessions hosted via digital technologies, university-wide faculty, staff and doctoral students at the University of Exeter, UK explored the ways in which Pirbhai-Illich and Martin’s (2020) de/colonial imaginary which included multiple forms of relationality, which was developed in a Canadian teacher education context, could be adapted for use in the UK higher education context. Using a de/colonising approach to conducting research, the research processes from start to finish were grounded in ethical, equitable relations that break down the binaries of researcher-participant, colonizer-colonized, and subject-object. Our approach was therefore participatory and underpinned by collaborative approaches such as research partnerships, co-creation and co-production of knowledge. The analysis of the findings for this project are in progress.

Primary Investigator Fatima Pirbhai-Illich
Co-Investigators Fran Martin
Funding Competition
Funding Awarded $5,000.00
Investigator Bio

Research Interests

Fatima’s research examines issues around social and human justice in particular, her areas of interest and expertise are centred around the academic achievement of minoritized (immigrant, refugee, Indigenous) students. In addition, she has a great deal of research expertise in working with critical multicultural education, culturally responsive literacy education including multiliteracies, critical literacies, and English as an Additional Language within teacher education. Fatima’s research also focuses on processes of ethical engagement of internationalization in institutions of higher education.