Diversity in the past

The materials in this section are all focused on the choices that teachers have to make about the substantive content of their curriculum. The diversity that all students encounter within the past – the range of specific individuals and groups of people about whom they learn – and the ways in which different topics are treated within the curriculum are known to impact on the extent to which young people engage with school history and on the connections that they see between past and present. The resources in this section illustrate different ways in which teachers have increased the diversity of their curriculum – paying more attention, for example, to women other than monarchs in the early modern period; examining the work of  Black British civil rights campaigners; or questioning the stereotype of the English ‘Tommy’ in examining who fought for Britain on the Western Front. Teachers will need to develop their own subject knowledge if they are to teach more diverse pasts and many of these resources help to provide some of that new knowledge or show where it can be found.

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  • Do Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children see themselves in your history classroom?

    Multipage Article

    Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people are the largest minority ethnic group in some communities (and therefore in some schools) in the UK.  Richard Kerridge and Helen Snelson have worked with the historian Professor Becky Taylor to produce a range of teaching resources for teaching the history of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller...

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  • Cunning Plan 186: teaching Samurai Japan in Key Stage 3

    Article

    Like many history departments we have been seeking to develop schemes of work that are more outward-looking, and, as the National Curriculum describes, ‘enable pupils to know and understand significant aspects of world history’.  To my mind, Samurai Japan offers students the opportunity to explore a time and place that is...

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  • Teaching Britain’s ‘civil rights’ history

    Article

    Hannah Elias and Martin Spafford begin this article by explaining why they believe it is essential for young people to learn about the ‘heterogeneous, rich and complex’ history of the struggle for civil rights in Britain. Drawing on their diverse experiences of researching, writing and teaching history at school and university...

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  • Illuminating the possibilities of the past

    Article

    Claire Holliss reports here on the ways in which she has responded over time to the call to ‘do justice’ to the histories of those long neglected within the school curriculum.  Reflection on the need to ensure that the discipline of history remained central to any reform prompted her to...

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  • Bringing school into the classroom

    Article

    The Secondary Education and Social Change (SESC) research project team at the University of Cambridge collaborated with four secondary school history teachers to produce resource packs for teaching Key Stage 3 pupils about post-war British social history through the history of secondary education. In this article, Chris Jeppesen explains the...

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  • Cunning Plan 185… for building difference into GCSE curriculum design

    Article

    Many history teachers have been busy making space in their curriculum plans for different sorts of histories. This process, as Priyamavda Gopal has argued (in response to claims that moves to decolonise the curriculum constitute an attempt to censor history by editing out those bits viewed as ‘stains’ on the nation’s...

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  • Diversity resources and links for secondary history

    Article

    Categories Diversity: general | Race and ethnicity | Empire and decolonisation | Transatlantic slavery | Non-European | Migration and immigration | Women's history | Working-class history | LGBTQI+ | Disability and accessibility | Other minorities | Teaching controversial issues | Inclusion and SEND Please note that this is a starter...

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  • West Indian Soldier: Learning resources from the National Army Museum

    8th October 2021

    The National Army Museum is a leading authority on the British Army, exploring its role from the British Civil Wars to the present day. Through its collections, the Museum preserves and shares stories of ordinary people with extraordinary responsibilities. The Museum’s Learning team is committed to providing engaging and curriculum-driven...

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  • Year 7 use oral traditions to make claims about the rise and fall of the Inka empire

    Article

    As part of her department’s effort to diversify the history curriculum, Paula Worth began a quest to research and then shape a lesson sequence around the Inkas. Her article shows how she allowed the new topic and its historiography to challenge and extend her own use of sources, particularly oral tradition....

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  • Triumphs Show: Diversifying the curriculum at A-level

    Article

    There is a wealth of literature arguing for the importance of accommodating a wide range of perspectives and experiences in school history curricula. Many have contended that it is crucial to include the stories of those traditionally omitted from historical records in order to teach history well. Others have emphasised...

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  • Planning a more diverse and coherent Year 7 curriculum

    Article

    In this article, Jacob Olivey describes his department’s efforts to both diversify their Key Stage 3 curriculum and secure greater curricular coherence. Building on a large body of research and practice, Olivey sought new forms of curricular coherence through the selection and sequencing of substantive content across the curriculum. He...

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  • Walter Tull: Sport, War and Challenging Adversity

    Article

    Schemes of work and resource packs  Produced by the Northamptonshire Black History Association and originally published in 2008, these packs comprise a teachers' resource book and a schemes of work booklet of 10 activities for teachers to use in the classroom. The resource book contains a description of how to use this resource,...

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  • Inventing race? Using primary sources to investigate the origins of racial thinking in the past

    Article

    Having been given some additional curriculum time, Kerry Apps and her department made decisions about what had been missing in the previous curriculum diet. Building on an existing enquiry (in TH 176), Apps decided to focus on how and when the idea of race in its modern sense developed in early modern...

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  • Putting black into the Union Jack: weaving Black history into the Year 7 to 9 curriculum

    Article

    Making a passionate case for teaching Black British history in the secondary school curriculum, Hannah shares here the personal journey she has travelled in planning for Black British history in her curriculum. She cites her inspirations and offers striking examples to illustrate her rationale and approach to teaching this history....

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  • Decolonise, don’t diversify: enabling a paradigm shift in the KS3 history curriculum

    Article

    In this article, Dan Lyndon-Cohen makes the case that history departments should move from diversifying the curriculum to decolonising it. After reflecting on some examples of how he made the content of his lessons more representative, he explores how the influence of writers such as Michel-Rolph Trouillot and Emma Dabiri...

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  • Cunning Plan 183: Teaching a broader Britain, 1625–1714

    Article

    ‘Gruesome!’ was how we decided to describe our teaching of seventeenth-century British history, although ‘inadequate’ was probably more accurate. Oh, how much was wrong!  We had… Incoherence. The Civil War and Protectorate years plonked in between the Elizabethan Age and the origins of the industrial revolution. We had lost years! A...

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  • Diversifying the curriculum: one department’s holistic approach

    Article

    In this article, Theo Woods shares the experience of one history department as they embarked on a substantial process of curriculum review and development. The department sought to address concerns that the range of history taught in their school, across the full seven years of students’ secondary experience, was too ‘traditional,...

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  • In pursuit of shared histories: uncovering Islamic history in the secondary classroom

    Article

    In 2005, in a Teaching History article entitled, ‘A need to know’, Nicolas Kinloch built an argument for teaching the history of Islamic civilisations to all pupils. Afia Chaudhry returns to this theme, reflecting deeply on the needs of her own students – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – within a...

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  • Move Me On 183: sees no reason to include Black or Asian British history

    Article

    Move Me On is designed to build critical, informed debate about the character of teacher training, teacher education and professional development. It is also designed to offer practical help to all involved in training new history teachers. Each issue presents a situation in initial teacher education/training with an emphasis upon...

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  • CARGO Classroom: digital resources for diverse histories

    17th March 2021

    To address the urgent need for digital learning resources, and to address the imbalance of perspectives in the History curriculum, CARGO Classroom is now providing multimedia learning tools for Key Stage 3 History via a freely accessible, interactive website: cargomovement.org/classroom “CARGO is about doing. We talk a lot. We talk about...

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