Education toolkit Dutch history of slavery 

An education toolkit about the history of slavery and its consequences for the countries involved, the people who were forced into slavery, and their descendants.

Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter is committed to creating a future without racism and exclusion. After a teaching pack about the history of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet, it is now time to address the history of Dutch slavery, and put it on the map. As far as we are concerned, education is the way to increase historical awareness, and by extension mutual understanding.  

We offer guest lessons from the teaching pack about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet at schools throughout the country. In doing so, we have noticed that there is currently very little attention in the Dutch educational system for the history of slavery and its consequences for our contemporary society. Following conversations with teachers and pupils, we concluded that there is a need for a way to educate children about what slavery entailed, what role the Netherlands played in this, and which consequences are still felt in the Netherlands today. This is why Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter has taken it upon itself to develop an educational toolkit about the Dutch history of slavery. The aim is to launch this toolkit in 2020.

The educational toolkit will contribute to awareness and understanding among Dutch children and youths. The toolkit is meant for pupils in the first three years of secondary education. Aside from that, we are developing a smaller teaching pack for the higher classes in primary education. In doing so, it is extremely important to let children think critically about the images they are shown at school and in the media concerning the colonial past and previously colonised countries. 

When children and young people get a clear and complete image of the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial history of the Netherlands and the countries that were colonised, it will be easier for them to explain why their class, neighbourhood, city, and the country in which they live are composed as they are today. This gives children a foothold, and contributes to the formation of their identity, historical understanding, and critical citizenry.

Would you like more information about, or would you like to contribute to the development of, the educational toolkit? Then contact us.