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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by grdwdgrrrl, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Right, a couple of questions for thee (all and sundry that is):

    When we mention international schools are we talking about:

    1. All international schools
    2. International schools in countries where the majority of the population is not white

    Assuming 2...

    Could the reason for this be:

    1. Because of the vestiges of colonisation producing within the population the association that white means better?
    2. Because, with the historic association between skin colour and occupation in some developing countries (the darker the shade of one's skin, the greater the likelihood that one was a labourer out in the fields), lighter skinned individuals are what the parents aspire their offspring to be. Having lived in the Middle East, I am well aware of how brazenly racist those of a less than whiter complexion can be. As we all know, racism is an equal opportunity trait.
    alex_teccy and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  2. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Very sweeping generalization about Educational Research.
  3. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    We teach a very colonial curriculum.
  4. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    I nearly forgot that when we do teach this (primarily) colonial curriculum we do it from our white bias. It would be interesting to have a person from the other side to teach it.
    Recently, I worked with a teacher from an African background. She was in charge of teaching the humanities. I was so happy that she taught about the Kingdom of Benin to my daughter who was a student. She also taught about Vikings and The Tudors. However, she was so proud to introduce Benin.
    Aren’t we looking for passionate teachers that can teach about the world? Wouldn’t it be nice to have teachers from different backgrounds teach colonialism from there perspective? Teach about other ancient histories that aren’t often centered on Europe or European perspectives?
    MsOnline likes this.
  5. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    You may need to examine why this is “in your opinion”. What standards? Be specific? What’s the criteria?
  6. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Do you mean that same Kingdom of Benin which is in the UK National Curriculum?


    'one study chosen from: early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900; Mayan civilization c. AD 900; Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300'

    Why shouldn't the UK national curriculum be heavily focused on history relevant to the UK, with a sprinkling of world history?
    Is a white person who grew up in the UK, unable to teach certain topics as effectively as a black person who grew up in the UK? Should we segregate topics based on skin colour or nationality? How many generations back should we allow for our PoCs before we consider them too tainted by 'colonialism' to 'effectively' teach a topic? What's the difference between their and there? Why is discrimination based on skin colour acceptable to you?
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    alex_teccy likes this.
  7. TowelHill

    TowelHill New commenter

    When staff are hired knowingly as single parents, they often take a lot of days off when their children are sick. This becomes a problem with staff morale within a department, where many overworked teachers from diverse backgrounds need to carry the extra load. Quite a few talented teachers of all colours and creeds, with years experience, finding new jobs, a result of inclusivity.
  8. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Let's not forget there is no UK national curriculum....

    But, putting that aside, I don't believe that teaching, for example, the English National Curriculum, in a diverse international setting is appropriate. Same would be true of any national/state curriculum.

    The same concepts and historical inquiry skills can be taught using the local/regional context and the student's own background and histories.
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Because perhaps being UK-centric does not best prepare children for participating in an increasingly globalized world?
    Because perhaps knowledge of historic events is less useful than historic concepts, and concepts are best taught through a wide variety of places and events.
    Because a "sprinkling of world history" downplays the importance of the wider world, and because schools that take this approach most often do it through the lens of Europe and North America, still excluding the vast majority of the planet.
    MsOnline likes this.
  10. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    Citation needed.
  11. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    In some countries (i.e. the one I'm in, we adapted the NC to take into account local and world history, in other BSO's with a majority expat population the NC was followed. Depends on the demographic.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

  13. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    You made a lot of claims in your post but with nothing to back them up.
  14. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    I agree it depends on the demographic. But unless that demographic was almost entirely UK expats then following, even a partially adapted, English National curriculum would make little sense.

    And even if it that were the demographic, would it still be the best pedagogical choice?
  15. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I gave my professional opinion, same as you and many other posters.
    MsOnline likes this.
  16. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    I asked questions, I didn't give opinions. Your answers to my questions were not very convincing and could be filed under 'personal opinion' and discarded.
    If you make a claim, be prepared to back it up.
  17. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    For fear of adding to your ire, I'd like to add on to gulfgolf's response:

    Because, if recent weeks have shown us anything, it is the lasting impact of a history or histories overly focused on one perspective. Because it is about time that the UK and its curricula recognise that simply reinforcing one historical perspective doesn’t make that the right perspective. Because we do our children a massive disservice if we continue to feed them a heavily skewed patriotic narrative that leaves out complexity and other truths. Because geographical location (the UK) doesn’t render other histories irrelevant. Children don’t think to question this closed narrow narrative, indeed, nor do many adults and so the cycle continues. I can’t really give citations for my opinions, except to say that I recommend a reading of ‘Silk Roads’ for an exploration of the importance of the consideration of breadth and complexity and, if you are open minded about rethinking what you think you might know about history, a bit of a challenge to dominant, UK centric constructions of history.
  18. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Thank you. Well said!

    Now on to the misogyny in education.....
  19. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    You're talking about children here how much complexity do you wish or think is realistic to provide? The curriculum is pretty well balanced with plenty of focus on history of the home country, world history, and other cultures such as The Kingdom of Benin.
    Where exactly is the problem with the UK history curriculum?
  20. Mitochondria1

    Mitochondria1 Occasional commenter

    I agree entirely.
    In primary schools in the UK, 85% of the workforce are female, with 73% of headteachers being women. In secondary there is still a disproportionate number of women in the workforce at 62% compared to men, but less female headteachers.

    I think it's time that we taught women that just because they are female, that they should not feel like they are destined to go into teaching, and instead aim for nothing short of 50/50 equality in the school workforce. This of course will result in many female teachers and leaders losing their job, but that's a small price to pay for strict balance.

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