October 2021 marks the UK’s 34th annual Black History Month – which, this year, is based on the theme of ‘Proud to Be.’
Suha Yassin, Pearson’s Lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, offers ideas for educators to get fully involved in events, and better integrate learning about Black History into school life this October, and throughout the whole school year.
In 2019/20, four in five UK teachers reported feeling that more could be done to celebrate diverse cultures, people and experiences in British schools, and only 20% of teaching staff saying that black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities were “very represented” in school content. With almost half of educators feeling that these groups could be more thoughtfully included in teaching resources, topics and materials, and a continued confidence in the power of learning, Black History Month offers schools, settings, educators and students a great opportunity to drive forward the discussion – keeping diversity, equity and inclusion at the heart of our shared journey – and helps keep that essential learning coming.
At Pearson, whatever the event and time of year, we think it’s vital that education reflects the wider world in which we live, helping promote understanding and acceptance between people, and ensuring that no child feels unpresented or excluded. For Black History Month 2021, we’re offering a range of free events and initiatives to increase and promote the inclusion of black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in school – from online talks for teachers to captivating resources for students.
Read on to discover what’s happening, and find ways to support your curriculum this month, and well beyond. You can also follow us on Twitter @PearsonSchools for updates and news about further opportunities, and to let us know what’s engaging you with the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth.
FREE Webinar on Racial Equality in the Classroom
Would you like to improve your knowledge on how to broaden the curriculum, and address racial inequality in lessons? In our upcoming Autumn Term Diversity Series, diversity expert Alison Kriel is offering educators a free talk on 11 November to boost classroom confidence with practical tips and advice, including:
- A discussion on how to use the right language in class
- Tackling conversations, topics and content sensitively
- Advice on tools to broaden your school curriculum
You can register for your free place today and view our autumn schedule of free events, all spotlighting inclusion and representation.
GCSE History – Migration Topic Launch
Supplementing our new Migration Topic Launch for history GCSE, Pearson’s diversity team is hosting a talk at The Migration Museum in Lewisham. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media pages for the publication of case studies, and the recording of the event. Set to take place on Wednesday 6 October, it will feature expert speakers Kwame Boateng of The Black Curriculum, retired teacher Martin Spafford of The Migration Museum – who co-advised for the current Departures exhibition – history consultant Aaron Skepple of the Harris Foundation, and Samantha Slater, history subject leader at Chatham Grammar.
Spotlighting Black Cowboys
Throughout the year we host a history topic of the month, highlighting significant moments around diversity and inclusion in our past. For October, the focus will be on Black Cowboys, critical to the American range-cattle industry in the late nineteenth century, but all too often overlooked. Download the worksheet and poster from mid-October, and start a new conversation in your class.
Find Worksheet and Poster
Remembering Dr Moody
If you haven’t heard of Dr Harold Moody, now may be a good time to start learning and sharing that knowledge with your students. Discover the man known to many as the Martin Luther King of the UK, in our online publication written by historian Stephen Bourne. Download the booklet, read and learn.
Find out more
Celebrations Across Cultures and Languages
In collaboration with linguists and Modern Languages educators Lisa Panford and Melina Irvine, we are delving into the way black history is celebrated and viewed across the French-, German-, and Spanish-speaking worlds. Keep an eye on our website for the launch of this new research-driven series towards late October, and inspire your students to explore the world beyond the British border.
A scientific spotlight on Black History Month
We're shining a spotlight on black scientists who deserve recognition and have positively impacted the way that we live today.
Shirley Ann Jackson was the first African-American woman to receive a PhD from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She was also the eighteenth president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and even co-chaired President Obama's President's Intelligence Advisory Board!
You can find a free poster and activity booklet about Shirley Ann Jackson on our website. Within this booklet you can explore key facts about our chosen scientist and Black History Month, as well as fun activities and discussion starters with your students.
Access free downloads
Updated Race and Ethnicity Guidelines
Are you dedicated to ensuring that all learners and groups are meaningfully represented in what you teach? Then you might want to read our latest Ethnicity Guidelines, which were published in February this year, with the aim of advancing Pearson’s commitment to fighting systemic racism in education. Covering topics that include negative associations, underrepresentation, missing stories and more, it reflects our ongoing engagement with anti-racist approaches, and informs our training as an organisation.
Download Ethnicity Guidelines (PDF | 1.4MB)
As Black History Month champions being ‘Proud to Be’, we can’t wait to see how teachers spread pride among their students through classes, events and activities to achieve true inclusion at school. Don’t forget to share your pride with us on social media: tag us @PearsonSchools and use the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth. Together we can continue to boost knowledge, understanding and confidence – for students, educators and communities everywhere.