Canada’s Legacy of Colonialism: Implications in Education

  • Jacqueline Benn-JohnEmail author


Despite the common Canadian claim to embracing social diversity and multicultural values, Eurocentric knowledges and values continue to implicitly dominate the curriculum, structure and schooling philosophy. Despite the availability of different axiologies and epistemologies, Eurocentrism has nonetheless been superimposed in many—if not most—educational systems, resulting in the colonization of education. Within this chapter, I use anti-colonialism, anti-racism and African feminism discursive frameworks to explore and understand Canada’s legacy of imperialism. Particularly, I focus on how colonial practices continue to be contemporaneously, implicitly and explicitly maintained in educational systems in the twenty-first century. I approach this topic from a position of subordination and resistance. As a Black woman schooled in Canada, this topic contextualizes my experience of racism, sexism and invisibility within educational systems. It also frames and elucidates the educational experience of countless Black and Indigenous students as necessarily connected to colonial ideologies of whiteness, anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. Further, this chapter resists simple and “conservative arguments that attribute educational inequality to inherent differences in intelligence and ability” (Wotherspoon in The Sociology of Education in Canada. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, ON, p. 35, 2009).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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