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Decolonising The Curriculum Roundup Blog

Decolonising The Curriculum Roundup Blog

Change happens a little at a time and the word ‘decolonise’ has continued to make an appearance in the headlines over the past year. Here at PlanBee we have pledged to continue to improve and create new resources that are both representative and diverse.

What do we mean by decolonise the curriculum?

To decolonise the curriculum means to rethink and reframe the way we teach and learn about the world and its people, by picking apart the bias and looking through a different lens… one that isn’t British- or Europe-centered. Read more about the importance of decolonising the curriculum in our  Mission to decolonise the curriculum blog.

 

Decolonising the curriculum

 

Our decolonising pledge:

To question all aspects of the curriculum we create and take action to ensure that people featured in our lessons are well-represented—truthfully, accurately and fairly—regardless of race. This includes their colour, ethnicity and nationality.

To ensure that the lessons we create represent, speak to, and inspire all children, whatever their race.

Read more about our pledge here.

Where did our decolonising journey start? 

Our journey to decolonise the curriculum started with our partnership with Jen Foster from @goodmorningmsfoster. A simple discussion about working together turned into a shared passion to dive deeper into the ‘hidden curriculum’. In particular, those significant people and events which had been forgotten in history. 

Jen Foster explains

“There is currently no sense of belonging or identity for a child who is not White British within the history curriculum”


Jen tells us about her experience as a child and how this led to where she is today in her guest blog, Decolonising the Curriculum – by Good Morning Ms Foster.

What have we done to decolonise the curriculum? 

Our first project in our mission to decolonise the curriculum was our history unit  The Zulu Kingdom. The Zulu Kingdom was a collaboration between PlanBee and Jen Foster and was the first scheme of its kind (at least that we know of!). 

We approached this scheme differently to others...instead of just giving children the basic facts about the Zulu people, we had decolonising objectives in mind whilst planning the unit.

Our decolonising the curriculum objectives are:

  • Challenging assumptions and bias
  • Questioning British colonialism and its impact
  • Understanding the role of cultural expectations and how these lead to treating those from other cultures differently. 
  • Addressing misconceptions about other cultures. 

These objectives were weaved throughout the lessons, allowing children the opportunity to question history told from a different perspective. The Zulu Kingdom existed at the same time in history as Victorian Britain, allowing us to draw interesting comparisons and cover the popular Victorian topic in a different way. 

However, there was a lack of information about the relationship between the Zulu’s and Victorians, and much of the information we found was biased. Jen talks about her frustration about this in our blog, Decolonising the curriculum is for every school.

What have we achieved to decolonise the curriculum so far? 

Since the creation of The Zulu Kingdom, the way we have approached our planning for new schemes has changed. We keep questions in mind about addressing assumptions and bias and continue to challenge the post colonial curriculum. Some of our latest schemes include Nelson Mandela and Windrush

 

Decolonising the curriculum

 

Check out our growing Decolonising the curriculum collection! Our collection makes sure to cover decolonising objectives throughout the schemes of work, with the aim to create resources that will eventually make up a diverse and representative curriculum across all subjects, rather than just one lesson here or there.
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