Moving the Cultural Center of Curriculum Content The Case of Primary Social Studies in Belize
Kayla Latracia Dorsey
Thesis DT 3.5 2008 D677
146 leaves: ill; 28 cm
This study is concerned with the relationship between curriculum content and culture in the Belizean context. It seeks to explore Belize’s educational journey to acknowledge and identify its cultural heritages and resources within the formal education curriculum framework. The objective of this thesis is to assess what attempts, if any, have been made to culturally reorient or shift the colonially inherited education curriculum by examining and analyzing the changes and innovations that have taken place in Belizean education. It focuses on Social Studies at the primary school level as a case study for assessing cultural change within the curriculum. Through an examination of Social Studies, I indicate how and if in fact Belize has (re)defined its curriculum and what the content of the social studies curriculum indicates about how Belize defines and identifies itself culturally as a nation (people) in the post-colonial context.
Within the socio-cultural strands of social studies, this research locates and assesses Belize’s relationship to, and identification with, Belizeans of African descent, and indirectly with the African continent and its people, and the Commonwealth Caribbean region. I interrogate and critically examine the content of the current social studies curriculum and textbooks to determine if and how the discourse on Africa and the Caribbean has been articulated and framed in relation to the educational, social, and cultural development of Belize. Ultimately, this study is about the journey of change and moving forward while remembering, acknowledging, and learning from the legacy of the past via formal education.