History, values education & PSHE

Primary History article

By Hilary Cooper, published 9th February 2009

Please note: this article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and references may be outdated.

The core values which are supposed to underpin the curriculum are generally taught through discrete personal, social and health education lessons and developed through classroom ethos. Yet history has at its heart the ways in which people may have felt, thought and behaved, the decisions, both personal and social, that they made about how to live, within the constraints of past times, from which current values and attitudes emerged. Surely this must be a key reason for learning history. However, exploring value laden issues integral to a topic is rarely the starting point for planning. Recently colleagues at the University of Cumbria have been investigating ways in which the humanities can be the starting point for curriculum planning with values education embedded within history and/or geography as central (Rowley and Cooper 2009). We have also been exploring ways in which the perennial values at the heart of folk tales, oral sources from different cultures, can be translated by children into contemporary contexts meaningful to them (Cooper 2008 a, b).

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