Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture

Laura M. Pipe, Jennifer T. Stephens (Eds.)

by Jennifer Moon , Rosanna Alegado (University of Mānoa), Daniela Bottjer-Wilson (Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Hawai‘i), DeAnne Davis Brooks (UNC Greensboro), Jane K. Fernandes , Katy Delaforgue Hintzen (Ulana ʻIke Center of Excellence'), David J.W. Inczauskis (Xavier University), Katherine M. Jamieson (Sacramento State University), Sky Kihuwa-Mani , Donovan Livingston , Shirley Shultz Myers , Simone Watkins , Tema Okun (Teach.Equity.Now), Augusto Peña (UNC Greensboro), Kevin Joshua Rowsey II , Özge Samanci , Miwa Tamanaha , Kimberly L. Todd , Silvia Toscano , Maria Vamvalis , Brenda Asuncion (Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo, Hawai)

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I was eager to read this volume because my understanding of decolonization was largely intuitive based on knowledge that all of North America was colonized, with devastating effect on Indigenous populations. The authors of the chapters brought me to a greater understanding of the role of colonization on the culture and values of higher education institutions across the continent. I have much more to learn.
The authors demonstrate that the history of colonization continues to create barriers, but they also open pathways and possibilities for change. In addition to the content, a particular strength of the book is the purposeful arrangement of the chapters into groups aligned with the TALLS (Toward a Liberated Learning Spirit) model; even the orientation of the TALLS cycle figure encourages the reader to be open to viewing higher education from new perspectives. The model provides a structured pathway for readers but also invites those with specific goals to comfortably step off that path. A particular strength of the book is the editors’ intentional act of decolonization to incorporate each author’s choice of how best to present their written (and graphic) material, which encourages readers to interrogate narrow definitions of scholarship.
Each author brings to light structures, biases, and expectations deeply embedded in North American higher education. Particularly powerful are the chapters that discuss students’ experiences (past and present) in our in-person and virtual classrooms. Each chapter increased (ignited) my excitement to read the next. I am grateful to the authors for the opportunity to learn from them.

Dr. Angela R. Linse
Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence
Pennsylvania State University

Social justice frameworks and pedagogical practice have become popular concepts within educational settings. However, these approaches stop short of the direct action required for true social change and often overlook the impacts and importance of space, place, and culture in the learning process. Through an exploration of justice-forward approaches that call for a blend of equity and culturally-responsive pedagogies with experiential approaches to learning, this edited book will examine the process of unlinking colonizing structures from teaching and learning through honoring the context of space, place, and culture in the learning process. Framed by the Toward a Liberated Learning Spirit (TALLS) Model for Developing Critical Consciousness, this book will be of interest to students, scholars, and researchers in higher education as well as critical and cultural studies, apart from program administrators and educators. 'Ignite: a Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture' will carry the reader through a learning process beginning with academic detachment and moving through a process of unlearning toward embodied liberation.

List of Acronyms
Laura M. Pipe & Jennifer T. Stephens

Section 1. Disrupting Academic Detachment

Chapter 1 Recognizing Learning Spirits as a Way to Decolonize Scholarship, Teaching, and Student Servingness
Silvia E. Toscano

Chapter 2 Interrogating White Supremacy Culture in Learning: An Interview with Dr. Tema Jon Okun
Edited by Jennifer T. Stephens & Laura M. Pipe

Chapter 3 Finding Wisdom: A Folk Tale
Jennifer Moon

Section 2. Unlearning

Chapter 4 Building Bridges
Jane K. Fernandes & Shirley Shultz Myers

Chapter 5 Still Too Rare
Augusto Peña

Chapter 6 Learning from the Land: Indigenous Pedagogical Practices in Southeast Communities
Sky Kihuwa-Mani & Simone Watkins

Chapter 7 Rejected Passport Photos
Özge Samanci

Section 3. Application

Chapter 8 Teaching as Anti-racist Praxis in Kinesiology
DeAnne Davis Brooks & Katherine M. Jamieson

Chapter 9 Kūlana Noiʻi: A Kanaka ʻŌiwi-centered Indigenist Axiology for Conducting Research with Communities
Rosanna ʻAnolani Alegado, Katy DeLaforgue Hintzen, Miwa Tamanaha, Brenda Asuncion & Daniela Bottjer-Wilson

Chapter 10 Black to the Future: Hip-Hop, Applied Learning, and a Song of Liberation
Donovan Livingston & Kevin Joshua Rowsey II

Section 4. Liberation

Chapter 11 Teaching Methods for Liberation: Practical Insights from Liberation Theology
David J.W. Inczauskis, S.J.

Chapter 12 Puncturing, Weaving, and Braiding: Integrating Spiritual Knowing in Education
Kimberly Todd & Maria Vamvalis

Chapter 13 Liberating the Learning Spirit
Jennifer T. Stephens & Laura M. Pipe

Authors’ Biographies

Laura M. Pipe, Ph.D., is of Tuscarora descent and serves as the Director of the Teaching Innovations Office in the University Teaching and Learning Commons at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Texas Christian University, an M.S. in Higher Postsecondary Education from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology (sports sociology) from UNCG. Her scholarly and teaching interests focus on Indigenous pedagogies and epistemologies of the Woodland Peoples of the east coast of Turtle Island, action sports (bicycle motocross, skateboarding, stock car racing) and the construction of public/private space, and issues in Native and Indigenous health.

Jennifer T. Stephens, Ph.D., is the Director of Academic-Residential Partnerships and Assistant Professor of Education at Elon University. She holds a B.A. in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, an M.S. in Counseling from The North Carolina State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies from UNC-Greensboro. Her scholarly and teaching interests focus on teacher leadership, culturally-responsive and critical place-based pedagogies, and curriculum development and design.

social justice; equity; experiential; critical consciousness

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


16 Color

Publication date

March 2024