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'Focus on slavery is putting black children off history'

AWARENESS: BME interest in History

A NEW report from the Royal Historical Society has warned teachers must stop devoting so much time to slavery because it puts black children off History.

According to the Telegraph, the society has found that the “seemingly relentless focus” on the exploitation and abolition of slavery can be “intellectually limiting and, at times, alienating” for black pupils.

The report also documents the underrepresentation of 'Black and Minority Ethnic' (BME) students and staff in university History programmes, the substantial levels of race-based bias and discrimination experienced by BME historians in UK universities, and the negative impact of narrow school and university curriculums on diversity and inclusion.

“It is important that the history of race and ethnicity is integrated fully into the curriculum, rather than being relegated to a dedicated session or course,” it said.

The report, titled Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History, was co-authored by Dr Sujit Sivasundaram of the History Faculty in Cambridge, and aims to looK into why BME students and staff are underrepresented in History departments across British universities.

In order to be more representative in the subject, the report suggests that creating History reading lists for students which do not feature black authors can a “barrier” for BME students and that school teachers and university academics should “question the absence of BME historians from reading lists” drawn up by their colleagues.

It also notes that teachers should “diversify” the content of their courses so that they are not “composed primarily or entirely of White (or White male) European authors”, the report said.

Recently, more educational institutions have been called into question for their lack of diversity in both subjects and student-body.

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