Alter the Victorian Curriculum to Include Women's, POC and LGBT+ History
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Every Victorian student completes history to some extent, be it in primary school or secondary school, be it an elective or a mandatory subject. Students of colour, female students and LGBT+ students all take it too- and I'm one of them.
As interesting as the history curriculum is, there is a staggering lack of inclusion in its course. Women's history, LGBT+ history and history of colour is often left out in the cold. I urge history teachers in their next class, just ask your students "what were the Stonewall Riots?" or "Who was Marsha P. Johnson?" and see what their responses are- let alone if anyone can give a correct answer.
History pertaining to specific groups and minorities is just as important as general history or infamous wars. The VCAA website states that its curriculum is established to educate students on their history and where they came from. Teach students who fought for women's rights in Australia, teach students about the history behind Pride Month, teach students about the progression of the rights of indigenous peoples.
It's the 21st century, and my generation, Generation Z, is the most sexually and racially diverse generation ever. So let us start learning about it. Teach us what led to us becoming the most racially and sexually diverse generation yet, despite homophobia and racism. Teach us about feminism and the women that led the way, from brave nurses that aided in the most gory of wars to powerful politicians that broke through the glass ceiling against all odds.
I'm not asking for a total revamp of the curriculum, I'm not asking for you to stop teaching us about World War Two or to gloss over the Cold War. I'm just asking for an inclusive curriculum, one that will teach ALL students about their history and past, and make them appreciate their present and future. I'm asking for a history that's not white-washed. I'm asking for a history that's not all about men or heterosexuals or cis people. I'm asking for my history and the history of students of colour, the history of women and the history of the LGBT+ community.
VCAA, you want us to understand where we came from, our family trees and the formation of our country and our world. Women, POC and LGBT+ people aren't only a part of it- they created it. So stop hiding it from us. Share it. Help us understand it so that we can carry on their legacy. I want to learn about my history and where I came from, and don't we all? So I ask of you, VCAA, tell me where I came from and tell my peers and students to come where they came from and the effects that these oppressed groups had on Australia and on the world. Tell us how they helped make our country into the beautiful, accepting nation it is today. Help us learn about what went right, what went wrong, what challenges they faced and what they accomplished.
Parents, it's your child's past, present and future. Educators, it's your passion. Students, it's your story. It's time to accept and include it.
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