Exploring the challenges involved in reading and writing historical narrative


By Paula Worth, published 24th September 2014

‘English king Frederick I won at Arsuf, then took Acre, then they all went home': exploring the challenges involved in reading and writing historical narrative

Paula Worth draws on three professional traditions in history education in order to build a lesson sequence on the Crusades for her Year 7s. First, she draws on the growing tradition of classroom practice using historical scholarship, not only to inform the teacher's knowledge but to deepen her pupils' direct acquaintance with scholarly work. Second, she uses England's long-standing curricular tradition of ‘interpretations of history', meaning subsequent accounts as opposed to primary sources, a tradition developed by history teachers' published discourse since it was enshrined in England's National Curriculum in 1991. Third, she joins debates about the much more recent revival of narrative writing in school history, using the published work of teachers such as Kemp and Gadd. Through her evaluation of her practice, Worth seeks to add to history teachers' collective efforts to theorise the academic demand of narrative, and so to shape and refine new curricular goals...

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