Equiano - voice of silent slaves?


By Andrew Wrenn, published 31st May 2002

Andrew Wrenn shows how a study of the life of Olaudah Equiano can support pupils’ historical learning in a number of ways. Not only is this a ‘little story’ that can help to illuminate or raise questions about the the ‘big picture’, it can also help pupils to reflect upon the status and value of that ‘little story’ in relation to the ‘big picture’. Andrew shows how pupils might raise questions about historical evidence, about interpretations of history and about historical significance. He defends his work on interpretations of history in this sensitive area, arguing that such work is essential if pupils are to enjoy informed reflection on such matters as heroism and identity. Through the idea of identity in particular, he makes a strong link between the History National Curriculum emphasis on ‘interpretations of history’ and the new citizenship curriculum in England.

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