23 August: Teachers from three regions learn lessons about the slave trade
To mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (23 August), teachers from UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) in Africa, the Caribbean and Europe and North America gathered at an international teacher professional development workshop (Accra, Ghana, 11 - 13 August).
From Denmark, Ghana, Gambia, Trinidad and Tobagothe UK and the USA, the teachers sharedtheir experience of teaching the slave tradeon both sides of the Atlantic, notably through school-based projects. Discussions showed commonalities and differences in approaching this difficult theme, and the will to promote intercultural dialogue in future school cooperation projects. “I gained a sense of unity with the participants of the workshop, said one participant. “I felt that we were all together on the same quest”.
Specific training sessions shed light on links between past and present, the manifold legacies of the slave trade and forms of contemporary slavery. In interactive exercises, participants were also introduced to student-centered teaching methodologies such as the use of arts and drama, images and artifacts. Visits to the Ghana National Museum and the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Accra completed the workshop.
The training aimed to enhance teaching about the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) and foster meaningful intercultural school partnerships. Feedback showed that participants were “inspired to elevate the status of the TST in my teaching next year” and found it meaningful “to see how friendships and partnerships between schools were forged through this face to face contact”.
The Workshop also marked the International Year for People of African Descent, 2011.
Other commemoration activities worldwide around 23 August are taking place in Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Grenada, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago and the UK, among other countries.