1. Useful articles: Implications for teaching about the Slave Trade

Given the controversial and sensitive nature of this issue, our teaching approaches are key to students' learning experiences. We particularly recommend the Berenice Miles article about key principles and pitfalls as a 'must-read' for anyone planning to teach about the Slave Trade.

2. Teaching resources

A selection of current material [printed and on-line] … much of this has been produced to coincide with the anniversary and includes good quality source material and photocopiable activities.

3. Exploring local connections

How we explore our local connections to this issue is a key challenge for teaching and learning. This issue had implications for the development of towns and cities across the UK. This section particularly includes material specific to Birmingham and the wider region but illustrates the scope and importance of exploring local perspectives as an integral part of the learning process.

4. Background information

A selection of particularly useful starting points for further research.

5. Related publications supporting global learning through history

Some recommended materials.

1. Useful articles: Implications for teaching about the slave trade

Teaching about the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade: principles to adopt, pitfalls to avoid Berenice Miles

Berenice suggests ten principles for teaching about this issue. The article stresses the importance of a broad framework that puts "respect for the dignity of all pupils" at its heart and advocates an approach that can be used within the context of combating racism in education and of developing inclusive schools.

A copy of this can be downloaded by clicking here

Teaching Emotive and Controversial History 3-19

A report from the Historical Association on the challenges and opportunities for teaching emotive and controversial history.  The report starts with the surmise that many teachers often avoid controversy in the classroom when focused on history, but recognises that the way many past events are perceived and understood can stir emotions and controversy within and across communities. The report is based on research of the opportunities, constraints and case studies of effective practice across the key stages.

Can be downloaded from: www.history.org.uk

2. Teaching Resources

Anti-Slavery International
Excellent site for background information and teaching ideas. The section ‘Breaking the silence’ ~ Learning about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, is particularly useful.  www.antislavery.org

Ending slavery: an unfinished business
A resource pack for citizenship, history and RE, Church Mission Society and Citizenship Foundation, 2007.  Aimed at Yrs 9/10. Looks at key historical campaigners and explores slavery today.  Can be downloaded from  www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/lib_res_pdf/0577.pdf

Equiano: An Education Pack for History and Citizenship
Produced as part of The Equiano Project, a partnership between The Equiano Society and Birmingham City Council, 2007.  The pack responds to the requirements of the revised 2008 Curriculum, to include more diversity in the teaching of History. It includes eight lesson plans, reproductions of original source material, woodcut illustrations and activity sheets. Supplementary materials are contained on a CD Rom. Sample extracts are available from the website.  www.equiano.org/schools.html

Freedom: A history and citizenship KS3 resource to investigate the Transatlantic slave trade, National Maritime Museum
Part of the Understanding Initiative where teachers, community workers and hildren have been working with the museum to develop new projects around the topic. Includes photographs of artefacts from the museum. Available as an online resource or a photopack.

Olaudah Equiano in Sheffield
~ Sheffield, South Yorkshire, the slave trade and its abolition
A handbook to support history, citizenship and English at KS2.  Takes an enquiry-based approach to the issue, using historical sources such as maps, photographs and other documents.  A history and citizenship resource for KS2, Development Education Centre (South Yorkshire), 2007.  www.decsy.org.uk

The amazing adventures of Equiano by Jean-Jacques Vayssieres
Tells the Equiano story in an accessible picture book format suitable for KS2/3.  Published by New Africa Books, 2001.  ISBN: 1 919888 01 2

Understanding Slavery
Encourages teachers, educators and young people to examine the history and legacies of the transatlantic slave trade through museum artefacts. There are FAQs, Key Facts, an introductory presentation and many lesson plans and ideas.

Also available is a resource, The Citizen Resource with materials for exploring Heritage, Routes, Identity and Activism.  www.understandingslavery.com/

3. Exploring local connections

Birmingham Archives
Site for Birmingham archives – has a Black History Link which includes  a wealth of material about Birmingham and Black history. www.birmingham.gov.uk/archives

See also section on:
Sources for the study of the Slave Trade held in Birmingham City Archives

‘Using local archives to explore issues of slavery’Marcus Belben, Birmingham Library services, 2008
In this article for Tidetalk~, Marcus shares experiences of a project ‘A Shared History, a Shared Future’ as an illustration of the potential for Archives sources to be used as a stimulus to young people’s learning.  He also reflects from this experience about the dilemmas involved and the proposal to create a ‘Liberty Box’ as an addition to the Archive collection.  Birmingham Libraries.  

Links to local online resources

Breaking the chains
Breaking the Chains (BTC) is a major national initiative that throughout focuses on commemorating the bi-centenary of the abolition of the slave trade on 25th March 1807. In the West Midlands the BTC Network consists of community and voluntary sector groups, public and statutory sector bodies and representatives from the commercial sector who have come together to contribute to and support this national programme at a regional level.  This site shares events, news articles and links to other sites, around historical and contemporary issues.

Connecting Histories
Connecting Histories is a partnership project based in Birmingham City Archives at Birmingham Central Library. Working with the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick and a wide range of community based groups and organisations, the project aims to bring hidden aspects of the city’s history to light and to promote the use of archives and local history sources for learning and for the promotion of social justice and cross-community dialogue.  The site contains a section on Birmingham and Antislavery including articles and source material.

‘Exploring Birmingham’s hidden histories’, Sian Roberts, Connecting Histories, 2006
In this article for Tidetalk~, Sian highlights innovative new material from the Connecting Histories project and web-site for exploring global themes of diversity and social justice in a local and historical context.

Making connections
Book containing archive photos and material produced by Black Pasts, Birmingham Futures Group, set up to develop a strategy and framework for building permanent historical and cultural records of black people’s lives and experiences in Birmingham. Available from Birmingham City Archives.

Scotland and the abolition of the slave trade`
This website offers background information and images for exploring Scotland’s connections to the slave trade and its abolition. It also explores contemporary forms of slavery with links to news reports and other useful websites.  www.ltscotland.org.uk/abolition/index.asp

4. Background information

BBC News
Background information and links to news stories  news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1523100.stm

National Archives
A research guide offering an introduction to the history of the British Transatlantic slave trade and its abolition. Gives advice on how to search for further information.  www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=407&j=1

The Real Histories Directory

Runnymede Trust
Looks at Religion and the slave trade


5. Related publications supporting global learning through history

Writing our past
This resource is packed with ideas to support children to research and write about the achievements of people, from all over the world, who have lived in Britain. Takes the life of Olaudah Equiano as an example. Suggests sources for further stimulus.  Published by Tide~, 1999.  Click here for further information

Jamaica ~ out of many one people
A poster pack focusing on Jamaica and the island’s links with Britain. It enables children to explore Jamaica as a place, its historical context, Jamaican identity and some of the issues affecting the country today.  Published by Tide~, 1999.  Click here for further information

Hidden Histories Revealed
A resource showing how schools in Wolverhampton have enriched their provision by including Black History as part of the mainstream curriculum.  Wolverhampton City Council, 2006.  Available from Jennie Lee Centre Tel: 01902 555911

The challenge of teaching controversial issues
Ed by Hilary Claire and Cathie Holden.  Each chapter dissects the nature of a specific controversy and offers practical strategies for helping students work through possible solutions.  Published by Trentham Books, 2007 ISBN: 978 1 85856 425 9

What do we tell the children? Confusion, conflict and complexity
Angela Gluck Wood.  Helps teachers to talk with children about the pressing questions they have about conflict and other sensitive and complex issues.  Published by Trentham Books, 2007.  ISBN: 978 1 85856 407 4

Positive Images
Suppliers of posters for Black History.  www.multicultural-art.co.uk/black.html