Postcolonial Social Science Education


Editors: Katarina Blennow, Lund/Sweden; Tilman Grammes, Hamburg/Germany

Deadline for first submissions: 15 February 2024

In recent years, a vibrant global discourse on postcolonialism has emerged in many subdisciplines of social sciences. While the collective memory of the colonial past and its legacy in today’s global world is relatively well researched (e.g. in heritage education), issues concerning how the postcolonial condition and postcolonial perspectives affect social science education in a more narrow sense have received less attention. This issue therefore strives to investigate concrete instances of postcolonial encounters and experiences as well as decolonization efforts in the present social science education. The volume thereby aims to inspire research on the relationship between postcolonial studies and the field of social science education. A special focal point is the integration of postcolonial perspectives and decolonization practices in social science classrooms. How are postcolonial or decolonial perspectives reflected in social science education? What issues and problems are discernable when studying social science education through the lens of postcolonial theory (and practice)?

Postcolonialism in its academic, political and educational dimension is a contested issue. A reflective approach to education should beware of the (false) impression that it is about "implementing" certain "good", "right" or "important" ways of thinking and acting. Fields of research and cases to reflect might be found in

  • empirical research on cognitions and emotions of students and teachers regarding postcolonialism (e.g. decolonization of the mind, concepts of “culture” and hybridity, subaltern consciousness, mind-sets and values)
  • postcolonialism in political or economic classroom research (e.g. micropolitics of othering, politics of the subaltern)
  • postcolonialism as a challenge for economic education
  • curriculum research (“world curriculum” between universalism, regionalism and glocalism)
  • social science textbook research (e.g. European border regime; social inequality and injustice ; white saviorism, white charity)
  • educational policy research, especially on global level and forms of supra-national educational governance (e.g. conditions of truth production in educational institutions)

We seek answers to the following questions (open list):

  • How can postcolonial theory be didacticized?
  • Is decolonization through social science education possible?
  • What can decolonization in or through social science education be and what happens in the political or economic classroom in such education?
  • Which knowledges are repressed and devalued in social science education? Is there room for other kinds and hierarchies of knowledge and “cultural” perspectives, apart from mainstream curriculum narratives?
  • What could be insurgent knowledge from the peripheries in social science education?
  • How can practices that continue to enforce underlying colonial attitudes be challenged in and through social science education?
  • (How) Can the subaltern (Gayatri Spivak) speak in the social science classroom?
  • What does postcolonialism mean for economic education? (e.g. global supply chains, structural economic dependencies, externalisation of negative effects of commodity production to the Global South)
  • What is social science education like when not looked at from above but experienced from below or from the margins/periphery?

The above catalogue of questions is not closed. We welcome articles that pose innovation questions within the formulated main objective of this thematic issue.

Methodological approaches among other might be case studies of all kind, content analysis, pictorial analysis. We accept a variety of manuscript types such as: research papers (representing different approaches and methodologies), opinion papers, literature review, meta-analysis, meta-synthesis, case studies including lesson and project report.

For further information, the author should refer to the JSSE Author Guidelines:

The issue will contain:

  • An editorial in which key themes are highlighted and articles are briefly summarised;
  • 6 articles of between 6-9000 words;
  • Book reviews

The timetable of the Special Issue is following:

  • First submissions by authors via the JSSE website: 15 February 2024
  • Final decision and papers ready for layout: 15 October 2024
  • Publication planned for 15 December 2024

If you are considering a submission or have any questions, you can inform both editors in advance: