The Decolonisation of Undergraduate Laboratory Curriculumn

This is my first research project under Laidlaw and any suggestions, contributions or collaborations would be greatly appreciated!

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Academic research is made possible by a diverse international community, and it’s important that undergraduate degrees reflect the diversity and societal challenges experienced by this entire community. Historically, university courses in the Western world have disproportionately promoted the discoveries of people who are predominantly white and male. This has stimulated efforts in many universities to ensure that there is appropriate acknowledgement of people from different social, political, and geographical contexts within their curricula. In this research project, I will work in the School of Chemistry to investigate opportunities to improve the curriculum of the first-year undergraduate teaching labs. First, I will investigate the language used in the teaching lab experiment handbooks and interrogate the suitability of the scripts for a diverse student cohort. I will then assess existing experiments in terms of their historical significance/diversity and in their environmental sustainability and try to highlight some areas for improvement. I will then take the opportunity to test out any ideas in the laboratory, either investigating the effect of modifying an existing experiment, or by introducing a new one. I will aim to create a guideline that I can use to assess other universities across the country and globe.

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