Tracking the health of history in England’s secondary schools

Article

Katharine Burn and Richard Harris, last updated: 4th August 2016

Why do you keep asking the same questions?

In 2009 the Historical Association conducted the first of what has become an annual survey of history teachers in England. Its aim was to get beyond bare statistics relating to subject uptake and examination success to examine the reality of history teaching across all kinds of schools and to map the extent of variation in students’ and teachers’ experiences as individual schools’ responded in different ways to national policy initiatives and curriculum reforms. In this article reviewing the survey’s findings over the past eight years, Katharine Burn and Richard Harris begin by enumerating the reasons to be cheerful; charting the ways in which concerns that inspired the first survey, and others that subsequently emerged, have been addressed. It  continues by acknowledging the reasons for continued vigilance – the new challenges as well as the opportunities that lie ahead –  and the value of keeping up in touch with so  many teachers’ experiences and current priorities.

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