Task Force: Decolonizing History in Schools
You have been selected to redesign the way history is taught in schools through a decolonizing perspective. Your goal is to address the need for reteaching white-washed course materials to address major discrepancies in the way historical events are portrayed.
Why Are We Doing This?
Decolonizing history means implementing, “a greater representation of non-European thinkers, as well as better historical awareness of the contexts in which scholarly knowledge has been produced.” Keeping this in mind, here we ask you to think critically about course material that has been taught in your own schools and come to a well-informed decision about what needs to change and how it needs to change.
- Research some aspects of history that are taught in schools that have recently been criticized for their inability to portray historical events and time periods (and how they shape current events) accurately.
- What topics or subjects in history need to be decolonized?
- How are these topics currently taught in school?
- How do you plan to rewrite the narrative that is presented harmfully?
- What are some examples of decolonized versions of history being retaught in schools?
- Think through the possible objections to your suggested changes to reteaching your version of decolonized history in schools.
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your redesigned curriculum best decolonizes history and explains the importance of doing so.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of procedures for your plan. It’s better to come up with a few ideas that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to them.
- You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your redesigned curriculum would better cover important historical events and shape students’ current understanding of societal issues.