Potential and pitfalls in teaching 'big pictures' of the past


By Jonathan Howson, published 8th December 2009

Jonathan Howson summarises findings from the recent ESRC funded research project - Usable Historical Pasts - and suggests how its insights might inform continuing professional debate and enquiry concerning both frameworks and ‘big pictures'.

In that context, the article assesses and compares two contrasting approaches to teaching ‘big pictures' of the past, found in the published work of Ian Dawson and of Rick Rogers.

Howson aims to encourage continued debate, experimentation and research in this area but argues that this continuing conversation is more likely to be productive and will avoid key dangers if it is thoughtful about terminology and informed by existing research and discourse.

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