An attempt to decolonize the curriculum at secondary school level and to diversify the subjects taught in British schools.
Since I began studying Black abolitionism in the British Isles back in 2012, I’ve designed numerous teaching resources and taught in both primary and secondary schools (from assemblies, to workshops, to a series of lessons).
In 2020, I updated a series of resources, the details of which can be found below. If you’re a teacher or educator and want copies of the resources, please do email me at email@example.com and let me know where you are in the world and what school you will be using/adapting them for. This is one small attempt for me to decolonize our curriculum, challenge white supremacist narratives and inform a range of audiences about local Black and minority history and hopefully they will inspire you to teach these histories as much as possible. In my experience, most schools/teachers reach out for Black History Month but the option is here to expand these conversations beyond October. Hopefully this will be the case!
The resources are mainly designed for British and Irish audiences but can be adapted for use across the pond too. There are three main themes, and for each, there is a PPT presentation and a sourcebook (a word doc providing context for teachers). I’ve worked with educators for a number of years now, so by providing the source material and opportunities to learn more hopefully it can be a framework for you (as the experts!) to adapt, edit and expand to a particular age group, level or even lesson time. I haven’t made these specific so do please adapt any tasks, questions or language to the capability of your students/those with special needs. I’ve tried to encompass different learning styles and have included here video clips, poetry, images, written sources etc.
PPT: Black British History Heroes. This presentation consists of 28 slides showcasing Black British heroes from the Roman era to today. It does contain a slide about Black History Month which you can adapt or edit as you please. Ideally, this can be used for assemblies, smaller workshops or diversity days within your school.
PPT: Diversity Across the Curriculum: This presentation contains 64 slides illustrating ways in which people of colour, their stories, experiences and contributions to the British and global landscape can be taught in every subject in the curriculum. Covering English, Maths, Computer Science, Science, History, Geography, Art and P.E., there are some tips of how to diversify the curriculum. Once again, this is designed as a jumping off point, for you to adapt, edit and expand to your school, the age group and capacity for your students. At previous schools, this has worked as a single ‘Diversity Day’ or ‘Diversity Week’ in or preferably outside Black History Month. Some schools have used this within their PSHE/Citizenship classes, whereas others have edited it specifically for their individual subjects. There are tips here on how to embed people and their stories into the local curriculum, with tasks and questions at each subject level to get students thinking about what they’ve just learned, or to encourage them to go away and learn more!
Word Doc: Sourcebook providing context to the PPTs
PPT: Black Abolitionists (covering the historical context behind slavery and abolition; key roles of abolitionists; detailed case studies of two abolitionists; a selection of 10 primary sources with additional questions. At the end of each section, there will be a series of tasks or questions to pose to your students. These can all be differentiated to suit the needs of your audience.)
Word Doc: This sourcebook accompanies the PPT entitled ‘Black Abolitionists.’ This document has 19 pages of teacher guidance, notes, questions and task ideas for students.
PPT: Black Lives Matter (covering the historical context behind BLM; the BLM movement in the U.S.; the BLM movement in the UK; the impact of the BLM movement on popular culture (art, sport, film/TV etc). At the end of each section, there will be a series of tasks or questions to pose to your students. These can all be differentiated to suit the needs of your audience.
Word Doc: This sourcebook accompanies the PPT entitled ‘Black Lives Matter’ and contains 19 pages of teacher guidance, notes, questions and task ideas for students.
Thanks to fantastic teachers Alexandra King and Simon Cox for their help and feedback in the creation of these resources.
Finally, check out this word cloud: using 600 pages of transcribed Black Abolitionist speeches, it identifies the key words/phrases they used in their lectures from the 1830s to the 1890s. It really highlights their radicalism and expressions of freedom, and can be a great teaching tool for secondary schools to Universities!