The Clyde and the slave trade - Atlantic trade

Teams will present the findings of their research to a range of organisations, institutions and community groups. Since investigation in this field may well turn up some original research findings in this burgeoning field, local and national media (newspapers, radio and television) could well show an interest if the quality and originality if the research warrants it. What an incentive for learners involved.

The lessons study (through pupil-based research) Glasgow's links with the Atlantic slave trade, using the historical context of the economy of 18th century Glasgow and its merchant class. Evidence of direct trade centred upon the River Clyde has never been established. But did Glasgow merchants (and thereby Glasgow itself) profit from involvement in the slave trade and if so, how?

Glasgow's involvement in the slave trade is not a theme that has been investigated to any great degree. The assumption has been that the British trade in slaves centred upon the great English ports of Liverpool and Bristol. Recent research, however, (cf. Black History Vol.1 issue1 Autumn 2007) has pointed to a greater involvement in the trade by Glasgow merchants than has hitherto been identified. Learners will be working at the cutting edge of research using the whole range of ICT facilities available to them in a proactive fashion and, with relevant teacher guidance, may uncover links that have remained hidden for the best part of three hundred years. Their findings would make for a feature of great interest both in the local and national community at a time of a flourishing of black history studies and publications.  A craft project to highlight the issues on the 'Middle Passage' when tribesmen from West Africa were transported on slave ships across the Atlantic to sugar and tobacco plantations in the West Indies and the southern colonies of America will be carried out on a cross curricular theme.

Broad Outcomes of learning

  • Subject knowledge gained and enhanced
  • Development of work skills - time management, ICT skills and ability to frame research projects in a hitherto largely untouched area of enquiry
  • Enhanced enterprising skills and attitudes (CfE) through working on research project in a team - gathering, collating and presenting information on results
  • Learners able to evaluate individual and team work as they progressed through self- and peer- assessment (AifL)
  • Confidence of working independently from teacher-led lessons
  • Pupils assumed responsibility for their own learning through framing opportunities/avenues for research

Relevance to curriculum

  • Permeates various curricular areas - Environmental Studies, PSD, Citizenship, Language, ICT, Art and Enterprise Education (employability skills)
  • Purposeful use of communication skills, sense of ownership and responsibility, ICT skills, and written language skills in a true to life context

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