Petition to the Education Secretary, to Reflect True English History by Including Black Tudors in the National Curriculum
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The recent curriculum reforms that the former education secretary Michael Gove proposed, have had many teachers and academics infuriated. In particular, over 100 historians claimed the Education Secretary’s reform ‘lacks balance and promotes political views’. (The Independent, June 2013).
The new education reforms threaten to teach an idealised version of history, which runs the risk of leaving many students without any knowledge or understanding of their own history and position within society. An inclusive curriculum is fundamental in improving student learning and developing better understanding and acceptance of other ethnicities and cultures.
The aim of this petition is for the Education Secretary to introduce the African Tudors into the National Curriculum. The outcome of this will be to move towards creating a curriculum that reflects the diversity of the various ethnic and cultural groups within this society and that also acknowledges the contribution that these groups of people have made to British history.
The inclusion of African Tudors into the National Curriculum is of particular significance. As research has shown, some Africans in England had important occupations in Tudor society, and were employed by powerful people because of the skills they possessed (Onyeka 2013). This dispels the myth that the African presence in England began with slavery or that the Africans who were found here were transient migrants.
The Tudor period cannot continue to be studied in it’s current format without exploring the presence of African people during this time of English history.
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