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CARGO Classroom Teacher Workshops: Teaching African and African Diaspora Histories

CARGO Classroom is developing innovative, uplifting, multimedia-led history lessons exploring stories of African and African diaspora achievement with history teachers in the South-West of England.

Through conversations with classroom practitioners, CARGO Classroom is seeking to explore and overcome the barriers facing the teaching of these histories in schools in the South-West of England. In partnership with EdJAM, CARGO Classrooms are running a series of workshops with history teachers from secondary schools in South West England. The workshops aim to identify any barriers teachers face to using the CARGO classroom resources in their schools and develop strategies to overcome these.

These live graphic illustrations of the conversations during the CARGO Classroom teacher training workshop were created by Camille Aubry, Graphic Artist  Website  Instagram


In 2017, the Runnymede Trust report for Bristol concluded that ‘the current curriculum is drawn up by people who are not able to create a learning framework which caters for children from different upbringings and cultures’ and that ‘the standard school curriculum therefore favours children from a white mainly middle- class background’. CARGO Classroom aims to tackle these epistemic inequalities by providing a curriculum that explores stories of accomplishment from African and African diaspora historic figures, with some specific case studies drawn from the Bristol region, and a methodology for teachers to develop their own lessons to widen the curriculum.

At the same time, as the Runnymede report stresses, the barriers to the delivery of more African and African diaspora histories in the secondary school curriculum are not limited to a lack of curricular resources. For that reason, CARGO Classroom and EdJAM are working closely with a group of ten history teachers from the South-West of England to explore this disparity in our collective memory.


This ‘CARGO Ambassador’ group have met to workshop what barriers they find in their respective contexts. The important and revealing conversations from the workshop have been captured in illustration form. The group has identified the following barriers to the delivery of African and African diaspora histories:

  • epistemic factors – with many of the teachers highlighting gaps in their own subject knowledge;
  • pedagogical factors – teachers lacking expertise to delivery what can be sensitive and emotive histories;
  • curricular factors – lesson time, planning time, and lack of inclusion in English exam specifications;
  • institutional factors – lacking priority in accountability measures for schools in England.

CARGO Classroom, EdJAM and the CARGO Ambassador group are now exploring solutions to these barriers, including the development of a FutureLearn course to help equip teachers with the historical knowledge and pedagogical expertise to teach African and African diaspora histories.

Want to know more about CARGO Classroom?

What is CARGO Classroom? from CARGO MOVEMENT on Vimeo.

The illustrations below are just some of the CARGO classroom creative resources which support a curriculum that explores stories of accomplishment from African and African diaspora historic figures. You can access CARGO Classroom resources from their website: https://cargomovement.org/classroom/ 

“CARGO is about doing. We talk a lot. But we don’t DO, and I love doers.”

Olivette Otele FRHistS, Historian and Professor of the History of Slavery at University of Bristol, Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society and Chair of Bristol’s Race Equality Commission & CARGO Board Member.

“I’ve worked in education my whole life and this is the most exciting thing I have seen in a long time”

Clare Marshall, Education Consultant and Director of Sustainable Hive

“I’ve rarely been so stimulated intellectually, in a practical way, in every way, than I have been working with CARGO.”

Prof Leon Tikly, UNESCO Chair in Inclusive, Good Quality Education and Global Chair in Education at the University of Bristol.

Meet the team

United Kingdom

Dr Lawrence Hoo

Poet and co-founder of CARGO

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United Kingdom

David Rawlings

Senior Lecturer and Subject Lead History PGCE at the University of Bristol’s School of Education / CARGO Collaborator

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