The how of history: using old and new textbooks in the classroom to develop disciplinary knowledge


By Christopher Edwards, published 29th April 2008

What are textbooks for and how do we think of them? As inevitably partial views of the past that reflect their purpose and moment of construction and their authors' location in physical and ideological time and space? As ‘the text' - canonical statements to be read and digested? In this article Christopher Edwards explores ways of using textbooks that draw attention to their constructedness and suggests that working critically with textbooks - particularly textbooks from a range of different times - can be a highly effective way of helping pupils develop their understanding of historical interpretation and of the nature of school history.

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