Decolonising History – Feed forward and exchange session

Hosted by EuroClio

During this session, participants will discuss in groups and as a plenary the relevance of Decolonising History and the role of teachers within current political debates. They will have a possibility to network, share their own experiences, and set the foundations for future projects, including discussing what could be the next steps for EuroClio in an effort to Decolonise History.

Participation Fee

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and Partners

Decolonising History – Workshop on “Tackling the textbook: recognising and rethinking colonial narratives”

Hosted by Tom Allen

The concept of a school history curriculum has its origins in 19th century ideas of progress and national pride. This can have implications for the historical narrative we impart, often subconsciously, to our students. Teachers in many different countries are now recognising the need to teach our students about empire, but the way we present this story is important too.

The aim of this session is to unpack the story our textbooks tell about European empires in the 19th century, and enable you to recognise potential problems with the materials you use. We will analyse anonymised extracts from textbooks used in a range of different countries (you are encouraged to bring your own examples to the session). The session will also offer practical advice on how a fuller picture can be presented to the students – without the need to throw away the textbook!

About Tom Allen

Tom Allen is Head of History at a comprehensive school in Bath, UK. He has recently been working with textbook publishers in the UK to reconsider the way colonial history is presented. In September 2021 he is moving to Germany to begin working at an international school.

Participation Fee

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and Partners

Decolonising History – Workshop on Contested Histories in Public Spaces

Hosted by the EuroClio Secretariat

This workshop will be based on the research developed by the Contested Histories in Public Spaces team. Contested Histories in Public Spaces is a multi-year initiative intended to address controversies over statues, memorials, street names and other representations of disputed historical legacies in public spaces. The objective of the Contested Histories project is to provide decision-makers, policy planners, educators, and other stakeholders with a set of case studies, best practices and guidelines for addressing historical contestations in an effective and responsible manner.

More details on the workshop will be coming soon!

Participation Fee

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and Partners

This workshop is co-hosted with the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation

Decolonising History – Workshop on ‘Making a difference: Learning to Recognise and Interrupt Personal Biases in the Curriculum and Classroom’

Hosted by Dr. Kay Traille

This workshop focuses on the way bias plays a major role in perpetuating inequity and influences the how and what we teach repeatedly to the detriment of marginalized students. Biases in the curriculum and our teaching such as omission and fragmentation bias, textbooks, and cosmetic bias are frequently endemic in education.  Learning the origins of historical racial bias explicit and implicit are key in understanding how biases function consciously and unconsciously in education. The role that Stereotypes play in terms of how information is processed by the brain and how this often leads to domination and division are investigated. We uncover how sources of implicit bias, the media, past experiences, and cultural exposure weave a tangled web and entrap us if we fail to notice the danger.

Through a better understanding of the science behind implicit bias and how this coupled with explicit biases function and flourish in education, educators will have a better grasp of these slippery and complex terms and how to interrupt their own personal and often unseen, unnoticed and unrecognized biases. Understanding this will help educators identify how biases influence and impact diverse students in terms of the Achievement, Opportunity, Learning, and Discipline Gaps.

Identifying strategies that interrupt such biases are explored.  And we learn why incorporating these strategies into our practice can make a difference in our schools in terms of more equitable and inclusive learning curricula and environments for all students.

About Dr. Kay Traille

Dr. Kay Traille is an associate professor of History Education and History at Kennesaw State University. She has been teaching and mentoring for several decades in the field. Originally from the United Kingdom, she moved to the USA in 2007. She continues writing and researching in the field of teaching controversial issues and issues concerning students of color and the teaching of history. Dr. Kay Traille is the author of ‘Hearing their voices: Teaching History to Students of Color’ and ‘Teaching History to Black Students in the United Kingdom’.

 

Participation Fee

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and Partners

Decolonising History – Workshop on “How do you decolonise history?”

Workshop hosted by David Rawlings, University of Bristol, and by members of CARGO

This workshop will explore the process of decolonising the history we teach, the challenges involved and the principles that can guide our practice. The workshop will compromise two parts. In the first half, attendees will be introduced to the principles behind the CARGO classroom initiative and use these to explore the question of how to decolonise the history classroom.

In the second half, attendees will reflect on the challenges that we are faced with when we attempt to decolonise the history we teach, hearing the testimonies from history teachers working with the CARGO classroom initiative, and explore what changes we can make to our own practice to teach more decolonised histories.

 

About the workshop hosts

David Rawlings is Senior Lecturer in History Education at the University of Bristol. He is subject lead for the History PGCE course and advises a number of organisations and publishers on the inclusivity and diversity of their history education materials, including how they can deliver more decolonised histories.

CARGO (Charting African Resilience Generating Opportunities) is a collective of artists, poets and filmmakers, led by Lawrence Hoo and Charles Goulding, from across the globe with a single-minded vision to address the balance of accessible narratives from the African diaspora. The CARGO classroom initiative aims to address the narratives that are missing from the history that is taught in schools across the UK, including the perspectives of individuals of African and African Diaspora descent and the recognition of their resilience, contributions and visionary leadership: CARGO© (cargomovement.org).

Participation Fee

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and Partners

Decolonising History – Keynote Lecture on “Decolonising the Curriculum: an introduction”

Hosted by Prof. Peter D’Sena

In 2015, students at the University of Cape Town called for the statue of Cecil Rhodes, the nineteenth-century British coloniser, to be removed from their campus. Their clarion call, in this quick spreading #RhodesMustFall movement, was that for diversity, inclusion and social justice to become a lived reality, the full gamut of educational provision should be challenged, and schools and universities decolonised. Concerns had long been voiced by both academics and students about curricula dominated by white, capitalist, heterosexist, western worldviews at the expense of the experiences and discourses of those not perceiving themselves as fitting into those mainstream categories. However, for change to happen, the dominant and deeply embedded Eurocentric knowledge and values systems underpinning the curriculum had to be transformed in order to take better account of cultural diversity and multiperspectivity. Moreover, institutional and structural change was also necessary: tuition fees should fall, and the recruitment, retention and outcomes for all students and staff should be equitable, rather than serving to reproduce ‘white privilege’.

This inter-active, inter-subjective presentation provides an introduction to the debates about the decolonising the curriculum movement; it explores its relevance for equity and social justice; and asks participants to reflect on their own practise and consider ways in which they can begin to create a personal strategy for change.

 

About Peter D’Sena

Peter D’Sena is Associate Professor of  Learning and Teaching at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. His key contributions to history education are borne from his enduring commitment, over four decades, to equality and inclusion. As a writer of the revised National Curriculum in the late 1990s he championed the introduction of black history; now he continues to lecture and write on decolonising the curriculum. As the HEA’s National Lead for History he organised the revision of the QAA Benchmark Statement and created innovative resources for those ‘New to Teaching’. He is a fellow of the Historical Association, a principal fellow of the HEA and last year he was elected to be the first President of SoTL’s European branch for History. Professor D’Sena is also Vice-President and Chair of Education Policy Committee at the Royal Historical Association.

Participation Fee

Participation to the Keynote Lecture is free of charge

Donors and Partners

Decolonising History – A webinar series

Have you been wondering how to teach about colonialism without resorting to a narrative of victims and perpetrators? Or how to account for the impact of colonialism on history curricula? Would you like to know more about recognising your own biases?

Following the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests sparked across the world,  we have been asking ourselves these questions.

We are proud to launch our webinar series and thematic month on ‘decolonising history’ during which we will tackle these key questions for history educators today.

The design of this webinar series

The webinar series will take place over a six weeks period in Spring 2021 (starting 16 April 2021 with regular sessions until 18 May 2021). The programme will open with an icebreaker on the use of popular culture to decolonise history, in which participants will have the opportunity to get to know each other and to collect ideas and resources to teach about the colonial past with popular culture. The icebreaker will be followed by a keynote lecture. This lecture, hosted by prof. Peter D’Sena, will help participants reflect on what do “decolonising history” and “decolonising the curriculum” mean, as well as what kind of actions this entails. The keynote will be followed by four hands on workshop, which will provide teachers with tools to effectively talk about colonialism and its legacies in the classroom. Participants will be presented tools and methodologies to:

The series will close with a feed forward and exchange session, in which participants will have the opportunity to share reflections, insights, tips and tricks on decolonising history, building onto the questions raised during the keynote lecture and the knowledge acquired throughout the series.

What will you learn?

During the webinar series, you will:

  • Exchange experiences on teaching about colonialism in your local/national context with other educators, as well as on how colonialism and its legacies are perceived by society.
  • Understand how colonialism has influenced historical narratives and the development of the history curriculum.
  • Acquire skills and knowledge on how to teach about colonialism and its long-term legacy.
  • Learn how to recognise and address your and your students’ biases.
  • Learn how to find and use diverse, inclusive, and representative sources.

Participation Fees

Participation to the webinar series is free for all EuroClio Individual Members, as well as for Members of our Member Associations.

If you are not a Member, you can register to single sessions for a fee of 15 EUR, or register to the full series for 60 EUR.

Would you like to become an Individual Member? Register here.

Donors and partners

Contact us!

  • Would you like more information on the webinar series?
  • Do you have a great lesson or practice that you would like to share with the EuroClio Community?
  • Have you read a beautiful book that can be used to teach about colonial history, or to make our way of teaching the past more representative of minorities?
  • Have you listened to a great podcast?
  • Do you know where we can find sources to make our lessons more representative?

If your answer to any of there questions is yes, we would like to know more! Please, reach out at secretariat@euroclio.eu with as subject line “decolonising history”. We will be in contact as soon as possible.

Decolonising Literary Canons and Fostering Multiperspectivity through Fiction: why Nella Larsen’s “Passing” should be used in history education

Giulia Verdini Reviews ,
Nella Larsen’s ‘Passing’ was first published in 1929. The title refers to the practice of “racial passing” which meant crossing the colour line between blacks and whites: the attempt to claim recognition in a different racial group than the one people belonged to was a quite common practice in the US of the 1920s. 

Background

The novel belongs to the heyday of the African American literature in the 1920s: after the disillusionment of World War I and in a milieu of racial segregation, the black community stood out and developed its art through the motif of "Négritude". Intellectuals of the New Negro Movement claimed their roots and did their best to represent their ethnicity: what followed is what is known as the Harlem Renaissance, which gave voice to a new African American consciousness. Passing reflects upon African Americans' crisis of identity in a white environment and their need to retrieve their ethnicity, but at the same time it also calls into question the very notion of race, which is represented more as something ambiguous rather than a defining feature. It depicts the complicated intersection of race, gender and social class, and the clashes between personal freedom and social obligations.

The epigraph

The reading of the novel begins with its epigraph. Before diving into a story, the reader is confronted with a short poem. Passing’s epigraph is an original paratextual element and it is an allographic epigraph as it was written by Countée Cullen, one of the most representative authors of the Harlem Renaissance. The short poem introduces the theme of Africa, the meaning of roots and ethnicity: the speaker asks himself "What is Africa to me?", a question which guides the poem and its ongoing reflections. The original, full-length poem is part of a collection, Color, published in 1925. The decision of omitting the original title of the poem, Heritage, hints at an understanding of the act passing as a loss rather than a gain, in particular the loss of heritage - the title of which the poem appearing in Passing is deprived of.

Plot

The story is set in the Harlem neighbourhood of New York City. The plot revolves around two African American women who see each other again after a long time. Irene Redfield is the mother of two sons and the wife of a black husband: as he is too dark to pass, she occasionally passes as white when she is alone. She is passing as white when she meets her old friend Clare Kendry: the two women pretended to be white to enter a Chicago hotel and enjoy the sunny day on its rooftop. Clare immediately recognises her friend and her ethnicity, but Irene cannot the same. From the novel’s opening, race is slippery and terribly unstable.

Irene learns that Clare is currently living her life mostly as a white person and that she is married to a rich, white husband who is unaware of her racial roots. Irene would like to avoid further engagement with Clare, but she is too intrigued by her: eventually, the two women dangerously resume their childhood friendship.

Despite being a novel, the narrative is built as in a theatrical piece, where chapters can be understood as different acts and characters constantly perform a role and act as actors of comic yet dangerous scenes - until Clare Kendry dies, leaning backward in a window, in the final act. Whether she fell accidentally, committed suicide or was pushed by Irene or someone else, is up to the reader’s imagination and interpretation.

And so is the question of whether the theatrical piece is a tragedy or a farce.

Crossing the colour line: a tool of convenience?

Why would an African American pass as white? Making a political statement? Defying white supremacy? Or more simply, gaining a better social position?

People were undeniably passing as white in order to obtain something better, something that they would never get by 'staying black': crossing the colour line meant being eligible for a well paying job, living in a fancier neighbourhood, being allowed in whites-only environments, enjoying a multitude of privileges. 

The character of Clare Kendry embodies a different perspective on the practice of crossing racial boundaries. In the novel, passing is framed through Clare’s sense of playfulness. Her life is a theatrical piece and she is the protagonist on the stage, performing whatever identity she needs or wants to perform. Whilst Irene comes to wish she had not been born black, Clare does not take race seriously: she doesn't feel burdened by the yoke of race as Irene does. Clare plays with her own identity and laughs at danger.

After her father’s death, his bigot aunts treated Clare like a servant and forbade her from seeing or even talking about 'Negroes' - this is how African Americans are referred to in the novel. She was consequently also forbidden from revealing the truth about her race. But what is the truth about her race? Throughout the novel, Irene’s black perspective reminds the reader of how white Clare is. When she says that she desperately wants to see Negroes and be with them again, she is somehow acknowledging her belonging to another world - and she sounds irremediably white. She does not want to socialize with blacks because of racial belonging and solidarity, rather for the sake of excitement. Clare did not hate being black, nor she hated being white. On the contrary, she loved being both.

Passing was generally perceived as the required practice to gain opportunities for personal advancement, and it was consequently often dramatized as a mere class question. Larsen frees herself from the conventions around the theme of passing and its sole interconnectedness with climbing social classes. Passing is a tool of convenience, but for Clare it is not merely driven by material ambition. The term ‘passing’ itself usually refers to passing for white, whilst it is never used to mean ‘passing for black’: Clare is the one character that enables this shift in meaning, as she rather dreams of inhabiting different social classes at the same time and she is not concerned about moral implications. Moreover, here the focus is not on how the person passing is perceived by whites, but on how he or she is perceived by blacks. 

The novel revels in this ambiguity and does not clearly take a position: passing is a symbol of gain and loss at the same time - gaining respectability but also losing any bound with your ethnicity. The character of Clare suggests that race is something that can be manipulated and also acquired: the narrative ultimately perceives race not as a matter of identity but of performativity. By questioning the meaning of belonging and the idea of loyalty to a race, the narrative raises a problem of representation but more than anything disrupts the conventional way of thinking of them.

Decolonising literary canons

The theme of passing was a very recurring topic in American popular literature since the mid-19th century. Most of the fiction available was written by white men and told the story of an unfortunate black girl born from a tragic event. This girl was usually compelled to pretend to be white for her entire life; an aristocrat would fall in love with her beauty and marry her unaware of her racial status, but he would eventually find out or the girl would just confess. In the end, the girl usually dies of fever - but also of deep internal suffering, discomfort and social uneasiness. This regular path of the novel contributed to the creation of the leitmotif of what is known as the tragic mulatta figure”, a stock character in early African American literature. These types of accounts highlighted the feeling of social exclusion of the ‘Negro girls’, as this exhaustion would be the main reason for depression and suicide.

Nella Larsen’s novel portrays passing as a choice, and not as a constriction. Furthermore, the act of passing is neither condemned nor praised. There is no real judgement: the reader is enabled to make his/her own statement. This is reinforced by the unexplained death of Clare: it is the reader’s duty to make sense of what he has read and understand the conclusion of the novel as an act of crime, fate or suicide.

Clare Kendry’s character does not correspond to the tragic mulatto figure: she is a provocateur and a manipulator. Ultimately, she is a performer. Passing successfully for her means having no restraints. She is never hiding, but “stepping always on the edge of danger” (Larsen, 1). Does her race doom her to an already written fate?

The theatrical piece might have the form of a tragedy, but turns out to be a farce. Clare is not scared and does not demand pity, her death is not the consequence of her fear. Clare dies because fatalism must be at the core of Larsen’s work: the author acknowledges the literary tradition and yet breaks the boundaries, canons and limits. On the surface, the novel seems to conform to the stereotype of the mulatta figure. Nevertheless, the narrative resists the conventions of the genre and gives innovative treatment to a very worn racial subject.

How does the novel help decolonise history and why should it be included in history education?

The novel can be used in history education to teach the history of African Americans and to tackle the issues of race, social boundaries and belonging. More specifically, the novel deeply engages with the question: “where does race reside?” and suggests different plausible yet equally incomplete answers - blood, emotion, ancestry. The concept of race is ultimately understood as a function of science as much as of law and politics. It is primarily a function of history and as such, it has been subject to Western biases.

The novel should be included in the curriculum as

  • it is written by and focuses on a black woman, but more broadly on the lived experiences of African American people in the 1920s;
  • it promotes multiperspectivity via the two characters of Clare and Irene;
  • it reflects on the meaning of race and racial belonging;
  • it decentres hegemony established by colonisation and westernisation by challenging Western constructs;
  • it offers a new perspective on the practice of passing and disrupts the concept of identity;
  • it can be read by students, adults and young adults;
  • it questions how narrative history has privileged one version of the story and dismantles systems that privilege certain widely accepted narratives over others.

From fictional characters to historical accounts

Passing is a work of fiction, but it is also the telling of a world that truly existed, the world where its author lived. The fact that Nella Larsen has a lot in common with the character of Clare comes as no surprise. Larsen’s parents were Danish immigrants- her father specifically originated from the Danish West Indies and died when she was young. Her mother remarried, but her new family members disregarded her heritage and the ties that bound them. Furthermore, Larsen grew up in the vice district of Chicago, where there were very rigid boundaries between blacks and whites. 

For history educators who are interested in using the author’s life story, more information about Nella Larsen can be found here.

Specifications about the book:

  • Date of first publication: the book was originally published in April 1929 - USA;
  • Genre: Novel;
  • Sub-Genre: African American;
  • Age Range: Adult and Young Adult Literature;
  • Suggested edition: Chemeketa Press, 2018.

Bibliography and Suggested Readings

Larsen, Nella. Passing. Chemeketa Press, American Voices Collection. 2018.

Rafia Zafar, “Black Modernism.” In The Cambridge History of American Literature. 1st ed. Vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, 2002. 348-352.

Wertheim, Bonnie. Nella Larsen - A Harlem Renaissance-era writer whose heritage informed her modernist take on the topic of race. The New York Times.

An Introduction to Decolonising the History Curriculum

Rebecca Jackson Articles ,

Decolonisation, while not a new concept, has increasingly been given light in public and academic discussion in recent years. Maybe you have seen calls to “decolonise your classroom” or “decolonise the curriculum”, but are not sure what this really means, or how to go about it. In April and May, EuroClio is focusing on decolonisation - most notably with a dedicated webinar series on the topic. This blog post we hope serves as a first introduction to the concept decolonisation in the history classroom and the history curriculum more broadly, with background information and resources for how to put these ideas into practice in classrooms across Europe. 

What is decolonisation?

Decolonisation can refer to the historical events in which many former colonies became independent countries. Decolonisation as we discuss here refers to a wider movement to address and decentre hegemony established by colonisation. 

In history teaching this results in two main aims:

  • Increasing content pertaining to colonised and marginalised peoples. 
  • Challenging how Western and European history is traditionally constructed and taught 

Scholars emphasise that one cannot be done without the other. For example Canadian scholar Sarah Nickel criticises an “add-and-stir” approach, in which indigenous peoples may be acknowledged in Canadian history, but the conventional narrative of the country which privileges a primarily White and British story is not seriously challenged. Methods are as important as content when it comes to decolonising the history classroom. 

Why decolonise the curriculum? 

The aims and methods of decolonising history dovetail with EuroClio’s wider mission for responsible and innovative history, citizenship, and heritage education by promoting critical thinking, multiperspectivity, mutual respect, and the inclusion of controversial issues. Here are some key points for why decolonising the curriculum is important for European history education.  

Breaking down the ‘natural order’ of current (historical) hegemony. 

History has and continues to be a powerful force in European society. Traditional national narratives may ignore or not fully address the history and lived experiences of colonised people. Critically questioning what stories are left out and why helps to dismantle systems that can privilege some groups over others.

Allow for greater critical thinking.

A decolonised history curriculum, beginning from younger ages, can improve discourse at higher levels. Often ‘challenging’ or ‘sensitive’ topics relating to colonial history are left out of the curriculum for younger students. However without a baseline knowledge, such important topics cannot be properly interrogated at secondary or post-secondary levels. 

History skills building

A key component of a decolonised history curriculum is questioning how history is formed and taught in the first place. This offers an excellent setting for students to critically engage with history as a discipline, and gain skills in history methodology and practice.   

How to decolonise history?

It is key to point out that decolonisation does not necessarily mean an outright rejection or erasure of European history and disciplinary methods.

Lawrence Meda describes two main approaches to decolonisation: “The first is a radical approach where Western knowledge is fully rejected. The second is an integrative approach which seeks to accommodate both Indigenous and Western knowledge.” 

Many countries in Europe have national-focused history curriculums. An integrative approach in European history education would see these integrated with new content and methods. This decentres the primary place of a Eurocentric perspective and works towards decolonising the curriculum.

What might this look like in practice? Here are some examples under our two key headings.

Increasing content pertaining to colonised and marginalised peoples. 

  • Examining sensitive subjects such as slavery, colonisation, persecution.
  • Highlighting people of non-European descent in European history.
  • Bringing in primary sources and testimony of non-Europeans

Challenging how history is conventionally taught. 

  • Bringing in multiple perspectives and primary sources on one historical event
  • Question how narrative history has privileged one story or group over others
  • Examining resources not conventionally used in the European historical tradition. For example: oral history, legends, modern art and media.

Contact us!

  • Would you like more information on the upcoming webinar series?
  • Do you have a great lesson or practice that you would like to share with the EuroClio Community?
  • Have you read a beautiful book that can be used to teach about colonial history, or to make our way of teaching the past more representative of minorities?
  • Have you listened to a great podcast?
  • Do you know where we can find sources to make our lessons more representative?

If your answer to any of there questions is yes, we would like to know more! Please, reach out at secretariat@euroclio.eu with the subject line “decolonising history”. We will be in touch as soon as possible. You can also find more information on the webinar series on the event page.

Online Classroom Teaching Resources

Below you can find a selection of online resources and lesson plans that you can integrate into your classroom relating to decolonising the curriculum.

Resources in English

  • Zinned Project 
    • The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history. They offer a wide variety of teaching materials, and have a good search function to filter by time period, theme, or keyword. Registration is free but required to access the teaching materials.
  • Facing History's Educator Resources
    • Facing History’s resources address racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history. Their online resource collection includes primary sources, videos, teaching strategies, lesson plans, and full units. Good search function which clearly labels the type of resource it is.
  • Teach Native Histories - Lesson Plans
    • The primary focus of this website is on developing curriculum resources for the United States, but its extensive lesson plan list offers inspiration for new methods as well as content for history education.
  • Teaching Black British History: A Teacher Training Guide
    • Discover how to best teach and embed Black British history into the national school curriculum with this informative course. From pedagogy in the classroom to the history of ethnocratic and eurocentric narratives, this comprehensive, three-week course equips you with all the tools you need in order to best teach and embed Black British history into your school curriculum.
  • The 1619 Project Curriculum 
    • The 1619 Project is a challenge to reframe United States’ history by marking the year when the first enslaved Africans arrived on Virginia soil as the USA’s foundational date. It offers eleven free full lesson plans relating to this topic.
  • Learning Resources — The Black Curriculum 
    • A social enterprise that aims to deliver black British history all across the UK. Offer short lesson plans based on eight topics, supported by a video. Lesson plans are geared towards England’s groups of Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) and Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14). Also can be booked for virtual and in-person lessons, teacher training, and assemblies.
  • Critical Analysis: Apesh*t Music Video
    • Full lesson plan centred on a critical analysis of the music video “Apesh**t”, The Carters (Beyonce and Jay-Z) and the underrepresentation or misrepresentation of black people in museums. 
  • The Decolonization Group: Practices & Techniques In Decolonizing Teaching, A Short Guide
    • Eight-page PDF that summarizes the discussion at an October 2020 seminar. Offers classroom level examples and perspectives, and lists sources of further reading. Available in English and Dutch.
  • Historiana webinar - Colonies' Contributions to WW1
    • EuroClio webinar conducted in February 2021. Highlights reasons for teaching colonies’ contributions to WW1 and how to teach Historical Perspective-Taking (HPT). It also presents an e-learning activity using Historiana resources. You can read the article about the webinar here
  • Decolonising the curriculum one step at a time: lessons on race in the early British Empire
    • In this blogpost, Jen Thornton, Head of History at Loreto Grammar School, shares her recent work to improve the history curriculum. Jen started by listening to students, she has gone back to the scholarship to gain the knowledge she needs, she has consulted and worked with colleagues, and she is clear that this is work in progress. Her description of this work and her generous sharing of resources will be encouraging and helpful to colleagues planning to make changes too.
  • Richard Kennett's YouTube channel
    • Richard Kennett is a specialist leader of education in History and head of History at Redland Green School in Bristol. In his YouTube channel, he offers various video resources on topics such as slavery and the Holocaust.
  • Native Land
    • Interactive map of indigenous groups. It predominantly focuses on the Americas, but it also lists some groups in Northern Europe.
  • #PastFwd: "Do Students know what race is? Do we? Does it matter?"
    • Alistair Dickins makes a very compelling argument on the importance of people's understanding of the concept of "race" and its actual meaning before engaging with racism, slavery and discrimination in history.
  • Decolonising Europe: Decolonising the curriculum
    • Online lecture of the ACES (Amsterdam Centre for European Studies) on Decolonising Europe in International Politics. The focus of the discussion is on the practical applications of decolonial theories: how to decolonize the curriculum in practice, and how to apply a decolonial approach to our teaching and researching.

Resources in Dutch

Resources in French

Resources in Italian

Resources in other languages

  • House of European History
    • The museum is based at the EU parliament in Brussels, and four lesson plans relate to their permanent exhibitions. The lesson plans are made to connect the teaching of European history to the contemporary world. Available in all 24 EU languages.
  • Samer.se/skola
    • Lesson plans on Sápmi and the Sami people (in Swedish)
  • Reaidu
    • A website for teacher students on the history, language and culture of Sápmi and the Sami people and how to use it in the Norwegian curriculum by the The University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (in Norwegian)

Additional reading and relevant initiatives

History Extra: What Does 'Decolonise History' Mean? 

Independence, Decolonization, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950 

The Black Archives 

Facing History Organization 

Indigenizing the Teaching of North American History: A Panel Discussion 

EuroClio: Teaching the Ends of Empires

EuroClio: The 1619 Project: a very European history