Diversity and inclusion in history

Diversity and Inclusion in History

These past few years have seen a historic revolution (if you’ll pardon the language) in the study of History at secondary school level. The increasing recognition of the importance of diverse voices in History, particularly in the previously white-dominated British history, has heralded an en-masse revision of history curriculums across the country. The aims of this revision are threefold; first, to include more diverse voices throughout history; second, to enable students of diverse backgrounds to relate to history; and third, to assist in the holistic aim of creating global citizens.

These aims can only become more important in an online setting, and the unique advantages of an online international school can be exploited to their maximum through a diverse historical curriculum. Students are able to go out and experience their own country’s history through the lens of the skills and abilities taught in the best online school in the UK. Our curriculum is being rebuilt around these principles, around developing the abilities of students to think critically about their own history and the history of the world, and to seek a deeper understanding of their own place in the world.

In practice, this looks like rebuilding the British curriculum around the forgotten or unheard voices of history, for example considering the different roles of black Africans in Tudor England, from merchants to King Henry VIII’s trumpeter. It means actively encouraging and fostering debate on topics such as the role of Empires in history, the impact of slavery or the nature of genocides, whether Rwandan, Armenian or the Holocaust. Through these structured debates in safe, controlled environments, students develop their own strengths and confidence in their views, and learn to listen and understand opposing positions with a calm rationality that will assist them in their future roles.

The term ‘decolonisation’ has become weaponised in the past couple of years by those seeking to obliterate the voices of those oppressed by their ancestors. Whether this be from a position of inherited guilt, an unwillingness to face the truth or a simple, entirely natural preference for the ease of ignorance, the word and the ideas of inclusion and diversity involved have become weapons in culture war waged by those who preferred a time when history was a simple matter of the ‘Great, white men’ going into the world and controlling it. Our students will learn about a huge range of subjects, and are encouraged, nay, required to come to their own judgement on the morality, legality and ethical basis of events in history, with each bringing a beautifully unique set of values to the table.

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