Global Learning Programme Wales

Historical perspectives

‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ Anti-slave trade plaque issued by Josiah Wedgwood © seriykotik on flickrPerceptions of other countries and particularly many of those now classed as less economically developed have changed throughout history. Some of these changes are reflected in the different terms used to describe parts of the world (north and south, third and first world, developed and developing).

Understanding the many mistakes made in the past in the area of development, and the background to ideas, successes and failures, is critical to exploring development.

Ways into this topic could be through:

Recommended reading

The following links and articles provide useful background information to help you teach about historical perspectives:

Global Dimension: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Feature article on the slave trade

Historical Association: T.E.A.C.H. online Resource teaching emotive and controversial history

Guardian: Theories of development Articles on the Guardian global development website about key thinkers, theories and policies that have shaped development over the past 60 years

SOS Children’s Villages: Our Africa: War & Empire A brief overview of key moments in African history, including video clips

Teaching resources

Useful teaching resources about historical perspectives:

RGS: Unlocking the Archives Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 resources on the UK’s colonial history, based on the archives of the Royal Geographical Society

British Museum: The Wealth of Africa  Key Stage 3 resource drawing on the British Museum collection to explore African civilisations, the slave trade and colonialism

BMGA: Commonwealth Online  Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3+ resources based on the archive of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum

Anti-Slavery: Recovered Histories  Key Stage 3 resource using the narratives of the enslaved and the enslavers to explore the history of the slave trade

Anti-Slavery: Breaking the Silence  Key Stage 3+ resource exploring the issue of the transatlantic slave trade

Understanding Slavery Initiative  Key Stage 3+ resource drawing on various museum collections to explore the issue of slavery

British Library: The Campaign for Abolition  Key Stage 3+ resource based on archival sources

For further teaching resources, browse through the following searches:

Key Stage 2

Key Stage 3

We welcome your suggestions for useful articles and teaching resources on the topic of Historical perspectives. Please email them to