Join us throughout A Revolutionary Summer with exhibits, crafts, and activities for visitors of all ages. Plan Your Visit

Dismiss notification
Balliol College Teaching Transatlantic Slave Trade Teacher Institute Dsc4838

The Museum of the American Revolution and Balliol College (University of Oxford, U.K.) offered a multi-year teacher professional development program to support educators in the United States and United Kingdom in teaching the significance and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Balliol College Logo

The program drew upon Balliol College’s 2021 exhibit, Slavery in the Age of Revolution, and the Museum’s rich collection of Revolutionary era artifacts and educational resources to explore the role of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the industrialization of the West, to uplift the stories of resistance by enslaved people, and to consider the various meanings of freedom and liberty in an age of Enlightenment and political, social, and scientific revolutions.

Over the course of a four-part virtual seminar series (2021-2022) and a Summer Teacher Institute hosted at the Museum (2022), the program’s cohort of teachers from the Greater Philadelphia region and England deepened their knowledge of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, their understandings of race in the 18th century, and the experiences of both enslavers and the enslaved (including their efforts at agency and resistance). They practiced teaching with objects, artwork, and primary source documents as a method of engaging different types of learners across age, interest, and content knowledge levels. Finally, they shared resources, tools, and tips with one another and learned to further develop skills for engaging in sensitive and difficult conversations with their students and colleagues around these complex topics.

Using their experiences as inspiration, and drawing from Balliol’s 50-minute exhibit documentary, as well as the Museum’s resources, these educators not only shared their learning with colleagues within their own networks, but they informed the development of a set of web-based resources on teaching slavery in an age of revolution. Materials may include:

  • Thematic edited excerpts of the Balliol documentary
  • Tightly focused thematic essays that will enable educators and students to place materials and videos into appropriate context
  • Engaging timelines to support contextual understandings
  • High quality images of historical artifacts and documents from both institutions’ collections
  • Guided video object-explorations to engage students in close-looking and thinking
  • Modular lesson plans and accompanying worksheets

In creating and sharing these resources, we hope to deepen student and teacher engagement with the history and lessons of the Transatlantic Slave Trade during the Age of Revolution, creating a more informed, empathetic, empowered, and activated public both now and in the future.

This program was made possible in part by American Airlines, the preferred airline of the Museum of the American Revolution.

  • American Airlines Logo

With additional support from:
Queen's Jubilee Education Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation
Krista and Richard Pinola
Oliver St. Clair Franklin
Anne and Michael Vogelmann
Deborah and Andrew Webster 

Learn More

A watercolor depicts Deborah and Harry, with their backs to the viewer, aboard a ship setting sail for Nova Scotia. They look out on men and women in the streets fighting for their freedom, as the Americans won the war. Many people were fighting for a place on the ships that were evacuating Loyalists.

Finding Freedom

Explore the stories of African American men and women in war-torn Virginia with the Museum's award-winning Finding Freedom online interactive.
Read More
Image 021220 Rtrss Vincent Brown Tackys Revolt Dsc4138
Read the Revolution

WATCH: Read the Revolution with Vincent Brown

Watch the Museum's archived video of Vincent Brown's February 2020 discussion on his book, Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War.
Read More
Image Wwltv Elizabethfreemanvideopreview 1042bsa07282

"Meet Elizabeth Freeman" Performance

Watch the original first-person theatrical performance portraying the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won, produced in conjunction with our 2020-21 exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote.
Read More