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Knowledge, Knowers, and Capabilities: Can the Capabilities Approach Help Decolonise the Curriculum?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Human Development and Capabilities
Issue number2
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)216-233
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/04/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Capabilities Approach and the movement to Decolonise the Curriculum contain powerful intellectual and practical possibilities for changing the way societies conceive of education and its purpose. The former presents a bold set of educational aims offering an alternative to market-driven human capital approaches. The latter seeks to undo the legacy of colonialism that still echoes through classrooms across the world. Yet, despite potential affinities, little work exists exploring the compatibility of their respective theoretical commitments. This article argues that, behind the label Decolonise the Curriculum, lies a spectrum of approaches that, at their polar ends, risk becoming counterproductive in the search for educational justice. Articulating a version of Decolonising the Curriculum that avoids these pitfalls can be achieved through the theoretical insights of the Capabilities Approach and, in particular, the writings of its architects, Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum.