Cunning Plan 185… for building difference into GCSE curriculum design

Teaching History feature

By Carmel Bones, published 16th December 2021

Cunning Plan… for building difference into GCSE curriculum design

Many history teachers have been busy making space in their curriculum plans for different sorts of histories. This process, as Priyamavda Gopal has argued (in response to claims that moves to decolonise the curriculum constitute an attempt to censor history by editing out those bits viewed as ‘stains’ on the nation’s past’) involves putting ‘the offensive bits back in’ – properly acknowledging the histories of race, empire and slavery.1 The Historical Association’s (HA) 2021 survey of history teaching in secondary schools revealed that, in England, some 83% of respondents’ schools had recently made substantial changes to their Key Stage 3 curriculum in order to address issues of diversity.2 In fact, the stories now acknowledged within the lower secondary school curriculum include not only those of Britain’s empire and of Black and Asian British history, but also those of other, often marginalised groups: women, the poor and working classes, disabled people and those whom we now identify as LGBTQ+...

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