Year 12 write Zambia's history for Zambian students

Teaching History article

By Peter Gray, published 3rd January 2012

Bismarck in the Bush: Year 12 write Zambia's history for Zambian students

Peter Gray explains how his Year 12 students came to research and write a resource on the history of Zambia, for history teachers in Zambia. The construction of the resource stretched the Year 12 students in new ways: the Internet was useless and there were no easy digests in A-Level textbooks to get them started. They would have to read whole books. They would also have to draw on their training in critical historical thinking so that they could discern, sift and make pedagogic use of decadesold perspectives in dated narratives. The project also stretched the Year 12s in surprising ways: they found themselves engaging in comparative history. The Zambian stories caused them to question some of the assumptions and interpretations that they had earlier imbibed from their GCSE course. Gray concludes by reflecting on the appropriateness and dangers of British students writing African history for African students. As a result of these concerns, the project has now entered an ambitious new phase, taking it far beyond its original goals...

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