Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



Taking the concept of credibility as a focal point, this article explores inclusive and decolonised classroom dynamics in the Dutch universities. Though much has been written on diversity and decolonisation in higher education, from curricula to epistemology to recruitment, there is a dearth in the discourse when it comes to decolonisation of classrooms. Drawing on Sally Haslanger’s conceptualisation of ‘credibility’ in classroom dynamics (2014), I focus on the intricate ways of classroom interaction which can usher those present in retracting from participating and engaging in class due to micro-aggressions, intimidation, or oppression in any form. As class participation and engagement are pivotal to success in the current format of academia that values individual participation and visibility, especially so in the Humanities, special attention to credibility addresses how classrooms can be transformed into inclusive teaching environments for all. The main question of this paper is: how are inclusive classrooms, in which every attendee feels credible as a knowledge producer, created and sustained? Classroom dynamics are complicated when both visibly and invisibly ‘marked’ attendees join the classroom, as power dynamics, inherent biases, and (micro-)aggressions can become hurdles in the learning process. It is the coloniality (Quijano & Ennis, 2000) of the classroom and the overrepresentation of Man (McKittrick, 2014) which I first analyse to demonstrate the need for decolonisation of the classroom. Then, I show the innovative investigative lens that the concept of credibility can offer in analysing classrooms through an illustration. Based on this exploration of classroom credibility, tools to evaluate the coloniality of classrooms and strategies to decolonise the classroom may be formulated.


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