When Boston public schools introduced a new standard map of the world this week, some young students’ felt their jaws drop. In an instant, their view of the world had changed.
The USA was small. Europe too had suddenly shrunk. Africa and South America appeared narrower but also much larger than usual. And what had happened to Alaska?
It is an “equal-area” map, distorting the shape of countries as a two-dimensional visualization of a three-dimensional globe but accurately scaling surface areas.
Individual schools in the US have used the Peters maps, Scott said, adding: “We believe we are the first public school district in the US to do this.”
“This is the start of a three-year effort to decolonize the curriculum in our public schools,” said Colin Rose, assistant superintendent of opportunity and achievement gaps for Boston public schools.
The district has 125 schools and 57,000 students, 86% of whom are non-white, with the largest groups being Latino and black. After changing the maps, Rose said, educators plan to look at other subjects and shift away from presenting white history as the dominant perspective.
The decision, he said, was made internally and not put to public consultation.