Plans to develop a decolonization campaign and curriculum for multiple generations of Guam students was discussed at a Commission on Decolonization meeting yesterday afternoon at the governor’s conference room in Adelup.
As technical assistance provider, the Guam Department of Education developed for the commission a draft matrix of instructional activities under the decolonization curriculum.
In the outline, GDOE had indicated that while the proposed content would already be aligned with the existing GDOE content standards in Social Studies, “it still should be presented to the Guam Education Board for adoption as an official part of the K-12 program.”
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje, who serves as the vice chairwoman of the body, said GDOE’s deputy superintendent of curriculum and instructional improvement, Joe Sanchez, prepared the content outline draft.
While the plebiscite has yet to happen, commission member and former Sen. Eddie Duenas questioned the cost of developing the curriculum.
Amanda Blas, executive director of the commission, said the cost of developing a curriculum is relatively low according to GDOE, and that the education department recommends developing a task force with the commission to assist with developing the curriculum.
Lisa Natividad, member-at-large, also suggested that a team of curriculum writers be part of the curriculum development process.
“Regardless if we have a plebiscite or not, we have to educate our kids," said commission member Jose Garrido. "We have to educate them for who we are.”
According to GDOE, the proposed curriculum is meant to cover “multiple years and potentially multiple generations of students” and “would be designed to set the foundation for understanding in the early years which would allow for much deeper engagement in later years. “
The draft topics are designed for K to 12, starting with An Introduction to the Island of Guam: Distinguishing features of our island and culture; Guam as part of the Marianas; Guam as part of the Micronesian region, in the Pacific Ocean; and Guam as part of the United States.
Other proposed topics and activities cover discussions about colonization and countries that have gone through the decolonization process.
As the grade level progresses, discussions on the various perspectives – statehood, independence and free association – are included and expanded on in the proposed curriculum. At the high school level, students are expected to have gained enough information and knowledge from previous years to be “able to select and defend a position.”
GDOE suggested that the commission’s task forces be part of “the research and review of the information, the selection of what is to be included (and excluded) and the final interpretation and presentation of the content.”
The non-Chamorros won't like hearing about the ugliness of American colonial racialized policies and how they have harmed islanders and Guam's total environment over time.
I support teaching kids about why colonization is colonization on the Pacific Island of Guam and how it has transformed the Chamorro people of Guam and how the policies extended to Guam from the federal regime have been ok or good in some instances and devastating in other instances.
I also support teaching decolonization topics from the standpoint of both the Chamorro perspective and from an American perspective.
The policies tied to militarism, injustice, control, spycraft, subordination and power from the federal regime unto the Pacific Islanders of Guam and the Pacific Island of Guam are something that the United States has not reconciled for itself because the outcomes are too ugly and to un-American in both tone and tenor becaue they are imperialist by virtue of what Guam is and where Guam is located on the globe.
Decolonization studies - is it a good idea? It is fantastic, bring it on.
In my opinion, at the end of each insular colonial day on the Pacific Island of Guam, non-islanders were go to great lengths to delegitimize this effort because it will challenge the historical foundations of American presence on the tiny Pacific Island of Guam, which is priceless to both the Pentagon and the intelligence agency communities.