Title of ArticleExploring decolonising the curriculum in physiotherapy: our learning stories as dedicated novices
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection
Author/sJudith Lane, Kavi C. Jagadamma, Jane Culpan and Cathy Bulley
ReferenceVolume 12, Issue 2, Article 10
Date of PublicationNovember 2022
KeywordsBrave spaces, decolonising the curriculum, humanising healthcare, Mezirow, physiotherapy/physical therapy, reflection


Background: There is increasing awareness that we must engage with decolonising physiotherapy curricula to respect plurality of knowledge and become more consistent with global priorities towards humanising healthcare.

Aim: By reflecting on our discomfort and vulnerabilities, we strove to understand and engage in decolonising the physiotherapy curriculum. Through this we hope to motivate others and contribute to this important transformation.

Conclusions: Using Mezirow’s transformative learning theory, we reflected on our struggle with our disorienting dilemmas regarding the need to engage in decolonising the physiotherapy curriculum. We have become alert to insecurities about our knowledge and ability to engage sensitively in the necessary conversations. As we progress towards ‘full’ transformation, we have concluded that we must take action to generate change while continuing to learn and reflect.

Implications for practice:

  • Decolonising curricula is necessary to humanise healthcare, with more value accorded to the plurality of knowledge and global experiences
  • The journey towards decolonising is destabilising and relies on humility in moving from ‘being the expert’ to accepting a return to novice status
  • Creating brave spaces where we trust one another’s motivations, forgive ourselves and others as we fumble with the conversations, and are compassionate

This article by Judith Lane, Kavi C. Jagadamma, Jane Culpan and Cathy Bulley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

In this section