Keeping the kids on school's attempt at helping sixth form students to engage in historical debating using ICT


By Denise Thompson, Nathan Cole, published 1st December 2003

At post-16 level, keeping the ‘kids’ on message is critical. Teaching and learning must be focused on the relatively narrow goals of the examination syllabus, but set within broader historical and historiographical contexts. Students need to how know, and where, to fit their ideas into those of existing historians. Ideally they will do this with the guidance of a teacher and with the ability to test their ideas against those of their peers. But, with all the other demands on lesson time, how can all this be fitted in? Denise Thompson and Nathan Cole suggest one answer: ICT. A message board provides motivation and the time for reflection, and enables staff to monitor and guide students’ thinking. Thompson and Cole show how their relatively small initial investment of time, in integrating use of the message board into their schemes of work and mastering its technical aspects, has paid handsome dividends in terms of their students’ learning. For Thompson and Cole, keeping the kids on message is a matter of keeping them on-line.

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