Dealing with the consequences

Teaching History journal article

By Molly-Ann Navey, published 26th September 2018

What do we want students to do with consequence in history?

Do GCSE and A-level questions that purport to be about consequences actually reward reasoning about historical consequences at all? Molly-Ann Navey concluded that they do not and that they fail to encourage the kind of argument that academic historians engage in when reaching judgements about consequences. Navey decided that it was important to teach students in such a way that they could begin to ask and answer questions about consequence in the way an academic historian would. In a six-lesson sequence for Year 7, she explored ways of teaching pupils how to identify, characterise, weigh and interrelate historical consequences. The effort both illuminated interesting weaknesses in pupils’ ability to work on an historical rather than an anachronistic or personal canvas, and allowed her to theorise consequence as a worthwhile curricular goal that reflects the academic concerns of historians. 

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