Cunning Plan 152.1: visual sources

Teaching History feature

By Shaun Collins, published 4th October 2013

Placing visual sources at the heart of historical learning

The principles outlined here were developed in response to three key concerns. The first was consideration of the needs of students learning English as an additional language who face particular challenges with reading and writing.

Images could perhaps offer them more direct, less abstract, ways into an understanding of challenging historical concepts. The second was an ambition for students to engage much more in the task of constructing history using sources. These prompted the decision to place a visual source at the beginning of every lesson of a particular unit to foreground source analysis and evaluation in answering questions about the past. The third was the discovery that these ‘image-led enquiries' appeared, over time, to result in improved outcomes for pupils of all abilities...

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