Hearts, minds and souls: Exploring values through history


By Steve Hillingworth, published 28th August 2008

Steve Illingworth argues that moral and intellectual development are not merely linked in the learning of history, but that moral development is a fitting goal for the study of history in its own right. He provides practical examples of ways of getting pupils to reflect on questions of right and wrong, together with human qualities and virtues. Steve argues that an emphasis on personal and moral development does not compromise the discipline of history but instead leads pupils into confronting difficult questions and motivates them by showing them the perennial relevance of the issues history throws up. His article challenges the very different case argued by Nicolas Kinloch in Teaching History 93, and is more in sympathy with Jenny Parsons, who, in the same edition's Triumphs Show about the reasons for her huge take-up of GCSE history, argued ‘it is the moral and spiritual aspect of history that is one of the most pressing reasons for its appeal'.

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