On Thursday, Boston Public Schools decided that instead of using the 400-year old Mercator projector map which skews the accurate sizes of countries of the world, the school will now adopt the use of Peter’s projection map in classrooms.
The chain of 125 institutions says that Peter’s projection map shows the real and accurate size of the globe.
For instance in the old Mercator projection map, Greenland which is 14 times smaller than the African continent is presented to be bigger than the continent; but the new map depicts the sizes of the countries like they truly are.
The old map was created in 1569. The essence then was basically to “establish and navigate colonial trade routes”.
The Peters projection map, on the other hand was created in 1973 by German historian Arno Peters. This new map corrected the lapses of the old one.
Peter’s projection map was designed too show landmasses in their real scale. The map is said to have been adopted by the United Nations.
According to Boston Public schools, the new map will enhance and improve student’s education in history and world geography.
BPS’ History and Social Studies Director Natacha Scott said this in confirmation of the learning advantage of the new map,
“By incorporating the Peters projection maps — an equal area representation — into classrooms, we are opening the door for students to view the world in a different light,”
“Taking the time to analyze different map projections will help facilitate conversations about bias in the classroom, allowing students to become more aware of the world around them.”
Huffington post says Hayden Frederick-Clarke, director of cultural proficiency of BPS, initiated the the idea of using the Peters projection map in the classroom.
It took him 3 years to “decolonize the academic curriculum”. He fought all elements of bias that came with the previous map in order to present his point.
Frederick-Clarke believes the use of the new map will be of special importance to students of color.
“Maps that they are presented with generally classify the places that they’re from as small and insignificant,”
“It only seems right that we would present them with an accurate view of themselves.”
Natacha Scott used the new development as an opportunity to encourage students to question and research into whatever they are taught for a better understanding.
“Overall, we hope students gain a deeper understanding of the importance of researching and analyzing multiple perspectives in order to develop their own conclusions about the world around them,”
“By exploring geography, we also hope to increase an awareness of the relationship between themselves to other countries, communities, cultures, and individuals around the world.”