Frameworks for linking pupils' evidential understanding with growing skill in structured, written argument: the 'evidence sandwich'


By Margaret Mulholland, published 9th May 1998

History teachers are increasingly good at designing exercises which develop skill in evidence analysis. The ubiquitous ‘source' is invariably analysed for utility and reliability. But how do pupils integrate such understandings with extended written work? How can they be helped to use these understandings in the creation of written argument? Conversely, how can extended written exercises deepen evidential understanding? In this article, Margaret Mulholland shares a practical technique that helped to transform the written work of her pupils. This technique enabled pupils to integrate evidential work with their work in constructing historical texts. In other words, Margaret Mulholland has explored ways of integrating Key Elements 4 and 5. More importantly, she has helped pupils to be self-conscious in their utilisation of different types of historical statements. These techniques will be immensely valuable for teachers helping pupils of low ability to meet the demands of both National Curriculum and GCSE. Equally, the techniques are starting points for helping pupils of high ability to gain sophistication both in their writing and in their use of sources, well before A Level.

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