Move Me On 165: Capturing student interest vs. sense of period


Published: 5th January 2017

Avoiding presenting people in the past as aliens

This issue’s problem: In her concern to capture students’ interest Jennet Preston tends to present people in the past as weird and wonderful aliens...

Jennet Preston has come into teaching as a second career, following a break to look after her young children. She is enthusiastic and full of ideas for engaging activities but also anxious about the depth and range of her historical knowledge. She seems  to have been reassured by teachers that she spoke to on early observation visits to other schools (before even applying to train) that she ‘really doesn’t need to worry about her knowledge for Key Stage 3’. She was also strongly advised that the main  priority at that stage is  simply to make sure that the students really enjoy history, so that they choose it for GCSE. Generating some of kind of ‘Wow!’ factor – whether of horror or genuine wonder  – is now a top priority for Jennet, perhaps because it  resonates with a view she has often expressed as a parent, now that her children are at school: ‘What I most want is for  them to retain their curiosity and sense of excitement about discovering new things!’

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