I understood before, but not like this: maximising historical learning by letting pupils take control of trips


By Helen Snelson, published 1st March 2007

We are used, in the current idiom, to ‘sharing objectives with pupils’. Too often, however, they are emphatically our objectives rather than theirs and sharing is shorthand for one-way communication. Helen Snelson’s article explores what sharing objectives can mean when objectives are genuinely jointly produced, rather than ‘cascaded’ and reports an approach to learning outside the classroom in which pupils were given the opportunity to make an educational visit their own by helping to shape it as a process of enquiry. Learning outside the classroom, the article argues, is necessarily an unpredictable and holistic process. To get the most out of taking pupils out, Snelson suggests, we need to take some cognitive risks and to be aware that too much structure can obstruct what we are trying to enable.

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