Historical scholarship, archaeology and evidence in Year 7

Teaching History article

By Barbara Trapani, published 16th December 2019

Who can tell us the most about the Silk Road?

The stimulus for this article came from two developmental tasks that Barbara Trapani was set during the course of her initial teacher education programme: planning her first historical enquiry and bringing the work of an historian into the classroom. Trapani chose to tackle the two tasks together, using Susan Whitfield’s accounts – both of different people’s lives along the Silk Road and of the artefacts that she had used to reconstruct their stories – to help her Year 7 pupils understand how historians use sources as evidence. The enquiry was further enriched by the work of Peter Frankopan.

The richly detailed account that Trapani presents of her design process and of her pupils’ learning illustrates both the power of individual stories to engage pupils and the way in which using objects (rather than written sources) can effectively focus their attention and build their knowledge of the process of evidential thinking...

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