Season 4 kicks off with Shalina Patel, an award-winning history teacher and co-founder of The History Corridor on Instagram. Shalina tells us about her career journey and what motivated her to become a history teacher. We talk about the tendency to be tokenistic when it comes to teaching diverse history, for example a gloss over the Windrush Generation or the glorification of the British Empire, without much reflection of the consequences of exploitation and racism. The relevance of these isolated stories is then buried within the broader curriculum. So I ask, how do we create spaces for important stories to be told, and, is the current teaching curriculum compatible with diverse storytelling?
Shalina shares some advice on how teachers can embed intersectionality into their teaching curriculums and widen their pupils’ perspectives. Social media is saturated with facts, opinions, controversies and conspiracies, which can confound the truth. It might mean that children and young people are misguided about what they read and understand, which can be particularly dangerous because they lack the foresight and intuition that comes with age and experience when distinguishing fact from fiction. Within that context, we discuss how teachers can uphold integrity and objectivity when it comes to teaching history.
I also ask Shalina what discovery of the past has surprised her the most, what it means to her to be a feminist, and what particular intersectional, feminist piece of history inspires her.
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