Faculty Spotlight: Frederic Bowcutt
Inclusive Teaching Tip | Winter 2021 WK7
Congratulations to Frederica Bowcutt on her recent publication in Ethnobiology Letters, “Creation of a Field Guide to Camas Prairie Plants with Undergraduates: Project-Based Learning Combined with Epistemological Decolonization.” Frederica’s essay explores how “…interdisciplinary inquiry and service learning can enrich college-level plant taxonomy curriculum, while creating rich opportunities for students to link their botanical studies to a historically-grounded understanding of why the conservation challenges exist in the first place. Through this collaborative, multi-year research effort, students contribute to the production of needed resources useful to regional conservation efforts.”
Frederica’s work explores an approach to decolonizing scholarship and the curriculum, which serves as inspiration for today’s inclusive teaching tip. Applying the rich and evolving scholarship of decolonizing, queer, feminist, antiracist, culturally sustaining, and people-first approaches to pedagogy offers a lens through which we, as educators, can work to decenter the perspective of the “traditional student” making room for the cultural wealth and diversity of experience students bring with them to the classroom. The scale of this shift can range from making the purpose of an assignment transparent to embarking on a co-created democratic classroom in partnership with students – and everything in between. Engaging with resources and people to understand how higher education marginalizes their identities and experiences provides a valuable lens. The approach to combating colonial violence that Quetzala Carson shares in per 2017 TedXUAlberta talk, Pedagogy of the Decolonized provides an illustrative example.
Have you explored decentering pedagogies in your own teaching practice? What did you learn? If you have a story or practice you’d like to share in a future inclusive teaching tip, please contact us.
For many, many more inclusive teaching resources and to add your own, visit ALL LEARNERS WELCOME: Resources for Designing Inclusive Learning Experiences.