Anti-racist teaching across the curriculum
- We need an anti-racist curriculum. The Black Lives Matter agenda moved the NEU’s Celebrating Education Decolonising the Curriculum project centre stage. Norfolk NEU is pleased to sponsor Stand up to Racism East Anglia’s event, Slavery’s Roots, East Anglian Links: Teaching History.
- This curriculum needs to be about much more than catching up with English and Maths and returning early from the summer break to make up for lessons lost during lockdown in a desperate effort to put the wheels back on. There is another road, an alternative route out of this pandemic that our schools could take and build back better, different and for the future. De-colonising the curriculum and anti-racist initiatives will be crucial in the re-building. Similarly, BLM is also about more than teaching history. It is about injecting a strong dose anti-racism across the curriculum.
- We need to be doing a damn lot more than Black History Month (BHM) and diversity days. We need to address the real issues: decolonisation of the curriculum; tackling racism and integration of anti-racist and multi-culturalist initiatives across the curriculum. My experience is that while BHM had a role to play it is all too often nothing more than lip service. As for diversity days, unless they are part of a much wider approach to anti-racism, they often achieve little and end up providing racists with the language to hide behind without changing their behaviour. We need something far more robust.
- Decolonising the curriculum means a major reconsideration of not only who is being taught, but also what is being taught and how it is being taught. This will require a positive anti-racist approach to teaching and learning. Challenging racist language, providing a wider definition of ‘English’ literature and a greater awareness of the social contexts of histories are all part of decolonisation of the curriculum.
- The NEU has established a working group with the aim of promoting an anti-racist pedagogy and curriculum. Some members of the working group have already shared teaching and learning resources.
- My main point is stress that anti-racist education agenda forward and to influence the Norfolk NEU’s Tackling Racism in Schools working group.
Ian Duckett, SEA NEC Member