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Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education

Abstract

Education has undergone multiple transformations with preset syllabi and modes of presentation to learners. Within the learning models utilized today, critical discussions on issues in higher education, social, economic, environmental, and racial justice settings have become important and at times, media headlines. Reading through course descriptions in an academic catalog or brochure will inform you about what the curriculum offers and what it does not. The course description wording brings into question two issues: whether the language used affects the understandability and relatability of the content by students of the course or, the course description represents the perspective of the department delivering the course, potentially leading to perceptions of the pedagogy of whiteness. In the many institutions of higher learning, educators have little knowledge of the needs of students. By reviewing course descriptions for English language wording, referred to as colonial language in this discussion, then analyzing the dominant words from the perspective of the student, there are opportunities to understand how best to create a platform for students in the course . It is through the unlearning of colonial course descriptions that your learning culture can overcome injustice and create diversity and inclusion using the course description language in an academic catalog. This case study explores existing secondary research capturing course descriptions from an array of courses with students who have a different relationship to the course delivery language of English.

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