Stretching the straight jacket of assessment: use of role play and practical demonstration to enrich pupils' experience of history at GCSE and beyond


By Ian Luff, published 1st December 2003

As in his previous, popular and influential Teaching History articles, Ian Luff has once again provided us with a wide range of high-quality, practical activities informed by a rigorous and persuasive rationale. This time, he has turned his attention to the use of role play and active demonstration at GCSE and AS/A2. By focusing on the very objectives that determine success in public examinations, Luff explores ways in which active teaching strategies such as role play serve the needs of the very system that can (and does) act as strait jacket and inhibiter of creativity and innovation. We are all familiar with the more unhelpful pressures brought to bear on our examination results but, whatever the source of pressure, ‘as professionals’ we will want nothing less than the very best results for our pupils. Luff outlines his own highly successful strategies for achieving positive outcomes in terms of both external assessment AND pupil motivation.

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