Life
    Culture

    Word of the week: Decolonise

    24 July 2020

    Definition:

    To re-design the education curriculum and deconstruct the colonial mindset we have inherited from the past.

    In response to the Black Lives Matters protests in America, head teachers in many British schools have decided to ‘de-colonise’ the curriculum. Although the brutal killing of a man in Minneapolis might not, on the surface, appear to be relevant to the teaching of primary school children in Maidenhead, school leaders believe that actions of a US police officer should transform lesson plans throughout British schools.

    Activists have taught us that by looking deep into our own history, we can teach our children to uncover uncomfortable truths about themselves. We must understand that we are products of the racial divisions that existed in previous centuries. Only by reliving the racial conflicts that occurred during colonial times can we ensure that we continue to see each other through the lens of race.  In this way, we can re-divide society along racial lines to make it more unified.

    For far too long the voices of activists have been marginalised. It is the job of school leaders to be led by activists in reshaping the curriculum around their concerns. Historical narratives must be carefully reconstructed before being introduced into the classroom to prevent misinformation and prejudice. This way, we can ensure that children are given the correct version of history, free from the harmful influence of debate.

    Schools are responsible for preparing our children for adult life. This can best be achieved by teaching them, from an early age, that they are either ‘oppressors’ or ‘oppressed’. When children understand their position in the oppression hierarchy, we can help them to develop their characters accordingly. Feelings of shame (oppressor) and helplessness (oppressed) are an important starting point to the socialisation of young people into modern society. By carefully curating their response to the past, we can instil a sense of guilt and victimhood in them that will set them up for life.