Institute of Archaeology


Decolonizing Secondary and Sixth-Form Education

18 July 2023

A two-day workshop is being held at UCL this week for teachers and academics to discuss the work of decolonization across subject communities in schools.

Overhead image of a large light-coloured stone building with portico and dome and yellow flowering trees in the foreground (© Ross Turner – The London Drone Company)

Decolonizing Secondary and Sixth-Form Education: good practice, challenges and opportunities across subject communities 

The workshop, taking place on 17-18 July and hosted by the Black Atlantic Innovation Network at UCL’s Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation, with contributions by UCL Institute of Archaeology staff, brings together teachers across different subject communities (Geography, History, English, Art) as well as academics across the social sciences and humanities, to discuss challenges, opportunities and forms of good practice with respect to the work of decolonizing secondary and sixth form education and curricula.

The workshop is supported by an AHRC Acceleration Impact Account Award & UCL Innovation and Enterprise via the Black Atlantic Innovation Network; a network established to advance efforts to strengthen equality, diversity and inclusion and processes of ecological sustainability and decolonisation within organisations across a range of sectors, including heritage, the arts, and education. The network is led by Ashish Ghadiali and Paul Gilroy, with working group leads Rodney Harrison (heritage), Tariq Jazeel (education) and Lucia Pietroiusti (the arts). 

The workshop will provide an informal space for a collective of teachers and academics to discuss the work of decolonization across subject communities in schools, and the links that teachers can make with academics to take this work forward. 

The event includes keynote lectures and presentation of the Institute of Archaeology’s Ghosts of Solid Air project, an innovative Augmented Reality experience designed for smartphones and based in and around Trafalgar Square in London which will launch in October 2023 for Black History Month as part of the BFI London Film Festival.

Co-developed with a group of young Londoners, it responds to and engages with debates regarding colonial monuments and dominant historical narratives and how these might be contested and protested in the public sphere. In this session one of the joint academic co-leads Rodney Harrison (Professor of Heritage Studies, UCL) and members of the award winning creative design studio developing the immersive experience (Amy Rose and Kirsty Jennings, We Are Anagram) will discuss the process of developing the app and seek feedback on what kind of resources might be helpful to teachers to make the most of it in and outside of the classroom.