Teaching the slave trade: educators share experiences at the UN
During a recent global UN videoconference for educators Teachers of the UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) shared their expertise about teaching the slave trade.
Organized by the UN in collaboration with UNESCO, the videoconference was organized on 23 March to mark the UN International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March).
The one-day conference brought together hundreds of educators at the UN Headquarters in New York and distant sites in seven countries in Africa, Europe and the Americas – the three regions affected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST). The event was part of a week-long commemoration, including an exhibition, a solemn ceremony at the General Assembly and a “living legacy” concert.
The keynote speaker, Hilary Beckles of the University of West Indies, outlined the importance of teaching the TST; a subject that significantly shaped the modern world. ASPnet teachers shared teaching approaches for international school exchanges such as the use of dance, drama, art and ICTs. Researchers and teachers jointly stressed the importance of including the TST and slavery in general in school curricula. Participants planned to share the outcomes of the conference with their students and communities, and reach out to more schools.
Also presented were the outcomes of a recent ASPnet online consultation on “Teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives”. This consultation held from 30 November to 16 December 2010 linked 70 schools in 15 countries within the framework of the ASPnet TST Education Project.