Structuring a history curriculum for powerful revelations

Teaching History article

Will Bailey-Watson, last updated: 12th April 2019

‘To think that these things did actually happen…’

When planning a Key Stage 3 curriculum with his department, Will Bailey-Watson began to question some of the commonsense orthodoxies regarding chronological sequencing and curriculum design. Drawing on pre-existing debates about curricular structuring in the history education community both in England and internationally, Bailey-Watson identified cognitive, motivational, and disciplinary justifications for placing a family history unit early in Year 7. In so doing, Bailey-Watson found that students’ disciplinary thinking may have been enhanced in subsequent historical study while not forsaking chronological coherence.

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