“The null curriculum refers to the things students do not have the chance and opportunity to learn. In this regard, learners learn something based on the absence of certain classroom experiences, interactions and discourses” (Kazemi, et. al, 2020).
The lack of representation of Black culture, history, and accomplishments across all subject areas from K-12 exemplifies the null curriculum. Think about the absence of information about Black Canadians and the histories of Black Canadians in your curriculum. The erasure of Blackness to students devalues and depreciates the validity of the lived experiences of Black people.
For many Black students, school is not an accepting place. It’s where they come face-to-face with the stereotypes and prejudices they face in the larger society. Students have shared their feelings of neglect, heightened surveillance, and arbitrary and often unmerited punishment for any perceived disobedience.
How can you actively address Anti-Black Racism, combating Null curriculum by integrating Black Education into your teaching practice?
It is crucial that there are educators in the classrooms who are intentional about challenging the status quo. It is crucial that there are educators who are willing to better understand cultures they are unfamiliar with to meaningfully connect with their students. Adopt a culturally relevant pedagogical lens – “Culturally relevant pedagogy rests on three criteria or propositions: (a) Students must experience academic success; (b) students must develop and/or maintain cultural competence; and (c) students must develop a critical consciousness through which they challenge the status quo of the current social” (Ladson-Billings, 1995. p. 160)
- What areas in my teaching & learning styles foster anti-racist teaching?
- What areas in my teaching & learning styles require change?
- How can I integrate the ten principles of Anti-Racism Education in my learning environment (classroom) to foster equitable learning?
Ontario Black History Society. 2020. Blacked Out History. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKm7wQjpuac&ab_channel=OntarioBlackHistorySociety
(2020) Development and validation of a null curriculum questionnaire focusing on 21st-century skills using the Rasch model, Cogent Education, 7:1, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2020.1736849