Rescuing assessment from ‘knowledge-rich gone wrong’

Teaching History article

By Christine Counsell, published 11th January 2024

Laughing muppets, lost memories and lethal mutations

Christine Counsell sets out her concerns about the effects on history teaching of recent trends in secondary assessment practice. Situating her analysis within a long-term story of interplay between government policy, classroom practice and school leadership responses to inspection, Counsell sees new distortions emerging in the name of knowledge. She argues that many generic assessment practices force history departments to lose connection with history’s natural modes of accounting, fail to make history memorable, and encourage rigid or unhistorical exercises. The article includes constructive examples from teachers who have avoided these problems through a more history-sensitive construal of knowledge...

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