In April 2023, Bristol Dental School was successful in receiving funding from University of Bristol Decolonising the Curriculum Catalyst Fund to host 3 town hall meetings facilitated by Lara Lalemi, Founder and CEO of Creative Tuition, and expert in decolonising the curriculum.
The purpose of these three town hall meetings was to provide a space where students and staff could come together to explore what we understand about decolonisation and how we can take decolonisation work and implement changes to the dental curriculum.
The first town hall meeting was held on 24th May, and focused on the topic of ‘what is decolonisation?’. There we explored the decolonisation movement and the ongoing social, political, historical, cultural and academic legacies of colonialism and its implications for the discipline of dentistry. We were invited to explore our positionality in relation to this debate and reflect upon our power and privilege through a series of guided reflective questions.
The second town hall was held on 7th June. It focused on decolonising the curriculum and presented the steps involved in working towards a decolonised curriculum. We were also invited to share and reflect on our teaching practice and think of ways we could begin to decolonise our practice and the curriculum as a whole.
Feedback comments on the sessions so far have been very positive; delivery has been rated as ‘excellent’ and the materials covered as ‘extremely useful’. The knowledge and skills of our external facilitator, Lara Lalemi has also been singled out by attendees. For instance, Lara is ‘energising and creates a really safe space’
If you haven’t been to a previous town hall meeting, don’t worry. The next town hall meeting will be held on Wednesday 12th July. The focus of the final meeting will be on taking what we have learned and discussed to date and drafting a decolonisation the curriculum action plan and strategy. There is still time to register for the 3rd event. To register for this event, please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/630769276887.
If you are not able to join us on 12th July, you can still contribute to the educational strategy, by adding your views or suggestions to this Microsoft Form.