Exploring the Criminology Curriculum—Reflections on Developing and Embedding Critical Information Literacy

Kelly J. Stockdale*, Rowan Sweeney, Clare McCluskey-Dean, Jodie Brown, Ismail Azam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


There have been countless calls to critique criminology’s disciplinary traditions, particularly in relation to its failure to address its colonial roots (Agozino, 2003; Kitossa, 2012). Ajil & Blount-Hill argue that “leading voices in academia — in criminology especially — are still predominantly white, heterosexual, male, Eurocentric and status-quo oriented” (2020:84). The continued marginalisation of certain voices — female, colonised, non-western and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ+) — has not only influenced, but also distorted our knowledge of key criminological topics (Connell, 2007; Cunneen and Rowe, 2015). This chapter explores the journey to address some of these issues; namely, to decolonise the criminology curriculum and work with students to encourage critical information literacy and to encourage academic staff and students to critically explore their curriculum and whose voices are included or absent. We consider this journey from both staff and student viewpoints: the authors reflect on their experiences and draw upon the challenges faced, future opportunities, and pedagogical value of embedding a reflective and critical information literacy within our criminology programmes. We conclude the chapter by providing practical suggestions for embedding critical information literacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Criminology and Criminal Justice
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges for Higher Education
EditorsSuzanne Young, Katie Strudwick
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783031148996
ISBN (Print)9783031148989, 9783031149016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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