School classroom layouts are “shaped by colonisation”, Britain’s biggest teaching union has claimed in new guidance.
The National Education Union (NEU) suggests that curriculums, the design of school classrooms and the structure of their daily routines have colonial roots.
The 450,000-member union says there is an “urgent” need to “decolonise” every subject and every stage of the school curriculum, especially since last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The standard layout of teacher at the front, pronouncing, with pupils ranged in front of them, is medieval, not colonial times. It comes from the expense of a book. So expensive that there would only be one, for a class, which is then read from with the students taking notes or trying to memorise.
Since the invention of printing there are reasons to ponder on whether this is still the right way to be doing things. But colonialism ain’t one of them.