Investigating ‘sense of place’ with Year 9 pupils

Teaching History article

By Joshua Mellor, published 15th December 2022

Slippery spaces and changing places: investigating ‘sense of place’ with Year 9 pupils in stories about the Cambridgeshire Fens

Confined to his home during lockdown in 2020, teacher Josh Mellor became eager to explore the history of the physical environment on his doorstep. After reading about different approaches to using environmental history in the classroom, Mellor decided to design an enquiry to explore the changing landscape of the Fens in Cambridgeshire from 1600 to the present day. Puzzled by the different ways in which history teachers have conceptualised ‘sense of place’ in the classroom, Mellor wanted to find out how ideas about ‘sense of place’ manifested themselves in his pupils’ writing. Analysis of his pupils’ stories of change in the Fens has led Mellor to create a nascent taxonomy of two different approaches to building pupils’ ‘sense of place’...

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