How introducing cultural and intellectual history improves critical analysis in the classroom

Teaching History article

By Steven Driver, published 3rd July 2020

Reimagining a rebel

In his article in this journal just over a year ago, Steven Driver set out his vision for a less myopic range of topics in A-level coursework. In this edition, Driver demonstrates how he has built student enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, a topic which he had previously identified as neglected – Nicaragua’s place within late 19th- and early 20th-century American foreign policy, and American historiography. His focus on this area serves as a leveller for his students from different schools and different backgrounds, who arrive without much pre-existing knowledge. Driver shows how he is able to use freshness to introduce schools of historical thought with which students can accurately and meaningfully engage within their coursework, and he offers ideas for how this kind of engagement might look in the future for his sixth formers, as well as at Key Stage 3 and GCSE...

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