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Decolonizing the Curriculum


Colonization theory can be historically situated within early European conquest, domination, and colonization of various countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. This external control of foreign territories created a metropole (the colonizing country) and colony (the colonized lands) based on unequal power and exploitation of the colonies by the metropole. Educational curricula and content was a key tool in enabling and enforcing the power and control of colonial regimes. The forced external control is often referred to as the classical colonial model. This model is based on political, economic, and cultural hegemony of the metropole on the colonized lands. However, contemporary colonization theory also includes what is referred to as internal colonialism, meaning oppression and domination of certain groups of people within a country. Internal colonialism mirrors the ideology of classical colonialism in its social inequities particularly based on racism and cultural domination of majority groups over minority groups and thus expands colonial theory to be inclusive of internal domestic oppression. In order for colonization to be effective, those who were colonized had to be indoctrinated into a certain mind-set that elevated the superiority and power of the colonizer. Colonization theory continues to affect the educational decolonizing efforts of previously colonized nations.

Kridel, C. (2010). Colonization theory. In Encyclopedia of curriculum studies (Vol. 1, pp. 121-121). SAGE Publications, Inc.,

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