by Nick Draper
For several years, one of our priorities in the project has been to increase the use of the LBS database as a teaching resource in secondary schools. The teaching of the slave-trade is no longer mandatory in schools, after a brief period following 2007 when it joined the teaching of the Holocaust as an obligatory part of the curriculum, but many schools continue to teach the topic, and we have been eager to contribute to teachers’ classroom practice.
The pioneering Local Roots/Global Routes project in Hackney in 2014-2015 (https://lrgr14.wordpress.com), undertaken by Kristy Warren and Kate Donington from LBS in conjunction with Hackney Museum and Archives and two local schools, demonstrated the power of the LBS research in underpinning the connections between the local and the global, both historically and in the present. The Hackney project also emphasized the labour-intensive nature of such work, and led us to seek ways to streamline the processes of adapting our work for use in the classroom, so that we could reach more schools in less time. The addition of mapping on the website was an important step in the process, allowing immediate visualization of local connections to slave-ownership.
Now, in conjunction with Justice to History (https://justice2history.org) and the Historical Association, we have established a Historical Association Teacher Fellowship on Transatlantic Slavery (https://www.history.org.uk/secondary/categories/872/news/3666/teacher-fellowship-programme-2019-britain-and-tra) for secondary school teachers, to run in 2019. There will be 15 places available on a three-day residential course, which will be followed by an eight-week online course. Participants will explore a range of sources and interpretations that can be used to develop meaningful and engaging approaches to teaching about the circumstances, experiences and consequences of African enslavement in the Atlantic world. Among the aims of the programme is the development of a set of principles for the teaching of transatlantic slavery that we hope will come to be adopted more widely among schools and teachers. The programme is open to all secondary school history teachers with a minimum of four years’ teaching experience. The deadline for applications is Friday 1 February 2019.
We have been fortunate in the establishment of the Fellowship to have had the support and collaboration of the Historical Association itself, which has in the past few years successfully mounted half-dozen such fellowships, and of Robin Whitburn and Abdul Mohamud of Justice to History, as well as the continued commitment of Kate Donington, now at London South Bank. In addition, UCL’s Research Impact team has contributed to funding the Fellowship, and we are grateful to Helen Stark for her championing of the proposal within UCL. We hope that the programme will attract a group of teachers from across the country, and that this cadre will become points of reference for their colleagues in the future.