Decolonising quantitative research methods pedagogy: teaching contemporary politics to challenge hierarchies from data

Article


Zwiener-Collins, N., Jafri, J., Saini, R. and Poulter, T. 2023. Decolonising quantitative research methods pedagogy: teaching contemporary politics to challenge hierarchies from data. Politics. 43 (1), pp. 122-138. https://doi.org/10.1177/02633957211041449
TypeArticle
TitleDecolonising quantitative research methods pedagogy: teaching contemporary politics to challenge hierarchies from data
AuthorsZwiener-Collins, N., Jafri, J., Saini, R. and Poulter, T.
Abstract

Decolonisation of the curriculum in higher education is a radical, transformative process of change that interrogates the enduring Eurocentric and racist narratives surrounding the production of academic ‘knowledge’. Our key argument is that it is essential for students of politics to understand the authorities and hierarchies exerted through quantitative data. In this article, we show that (1) quantitative methods and data literacy can be an explicit tool in the endeavour to challenge structures of oppression, and (2) there is a need to apply decolonial principles to the teaching of quantitative methods, prioritising the historical contextualisation and anti-racist critique of the ways in which statistics amplify existing micro and macro power relations. To explain how this can be done, we begin with a commentary on the ‘state of decolonisation’ in higher education, its relevance to the subdisciplines of politics, and its application to quantitative teaching in the United Kingdom. We then suggest some guiding principles for a decolonial approach to quantitative methods teaching and present substantive examples from political sociology, international political economy, and international development. These suggestions and examples show how a decolonial lens advances critical and emancipatory thinking in undergraduate students of politics when it is used with quantitative methods.

KeywordsDecolonisation; Quantitative Methods; Teaching and Learning; Pedagogy; Diversity & Inclusion
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalPolitics
ISSN0263-3957
Electronic1467-9256
Publication dates
Online26 Aug 2021
PrintFeb 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted03 Jun 2021
Accepted09 Jul 2021
Deposited20 Jul 2021
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Restricted
Copyright Statement

Zwiener-Collins N, Jafri J, Saini R, Poulter T. Decolonising quantitative research methods pedagogy: Teaching contemporary politics to challenge hierarchies from data. Politics. August 2021, doi:10.1177/02633957211041449. Copyright © The Author(s) 2021
Published version: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/02633957211041449
Web of Science identifierWOS:000689010500001
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