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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  • Triumphs Show 156: Fresh perspectives on the First World War

    Article

    Year 9 think they know a lot about the First World War. After all, they read Michael Morpurgo's novel Private Peaceful in their English lessons all the way back in Year 7, they've seen Blackadder so many times they can recite it, and in the centenary year of the war's...

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  • Getting medieval (and global) at Key Stage 3

    Article

    Taking new historical research into the classroom: getting medieval (and global) at Key Stage 3 Although history teachers frequently work with academic historical writing, direct face-to-face encounters with academic historians are rare in secondary history classrooms. This article reports a collaboration between an academic historian and a history teacher that...

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  • Year 7 explore the story of a London street

    Article

    One street, twenty children and the experience of a changing town: Year 7 explore the story of a London street Michael Wood and others have recently drawn attention to the ways in which big stories can be told through local histories. Hughes and De Silva report a teaching unit through...

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  • Do we need another hero? Rorke's Drift

    Article

    Do we need another hero? Year 8 get to grips with the heroic myth of the Defence of Rorke's Drift in 1879 Mike Murray shares a lesson sequence in which his students examined changing interpretations of the Battle of Rorke's Drift in 1879. Building on earlier work on teaching interpretations...

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  • Designing an enquiry in a challenging setting

    Article

    Bridging the divide with a question and a kaleidoscope: designing an enquiry in a challenging settingThe Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) is a Cyprus-based organization that works to foster dialogue among history teachers and other educators across the divide in Cyprus. In one of their UN-funded projects, ADHR members...

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  • Triumphs Show 148.1: collaborating to commemorate Olaudah Equiano

    Article

    How a drink in the bar at the SHP conference - and discovery of a shared interest in ICT - led to the campaign for a Blue Plaque for an eighteenth-century abolitionist. What do the 1970 Brazil World Cup-winning team, Charles Darwin and Vanilla Ice all have in common? This...

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  • Where are we? The place of women in history curricula

    Article

    Joanne Pearson reflects on her experiences as a history teacher and teacher educator, considering the ways in which she has seen women represented in the history curricula of different schools in England. She makes the case that greater attention needs to be paid by history teachers to the criteria against...

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  • Hidden histories and heroism: post-14 course on multi-cultural Britain since 1945

    Article

    A school-designed, post-14 course on multi-cultural Britain since 1945  Robin Whitburn and Sharon Yemoh describe the design of a school-generated GCSE course on the challenges that British people faced in forging a multicultural society in post-imperial Britain. Drawing on their own research into their students' experience, they build a discipline-based case...

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  • 'Doing justice to history': the learning of African history in a North London secondary school

    Article

    ‘Doing justice to history': the learning of African history in a North London secondary school and teacher development in the spirit of ubuntuThe medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan observed many years ago and the ‘form' of what we do carries ‘content' as Hayden White has argued. This article reports...

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  • How my interest in what I don't teach has informed my teaching and enriched my students' learning

    Article

    Warrior queens, regal trade unionists and warring nurses: how my interest in what I don't teach has informed my teaching and  enriched my students' learning Flora Wilson argues here for the importance of maintaining a fascination with history as an academic subject for experienced, practising history teachers. Just as medical...

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  • Exploring pupils' difficulties when arguing about a diverse past

    Article

    Wrestling with diversity: exploring pupils' difficulties when arguing about a diverse pastHow can we develop students' ability to argue about diversity? Sarah Black explores this question through classroom research that set out to help students think in complex ways about diversity, drawing on Burbules' work on conceptualising difference and diversity....

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  • Developing Year 8 students' conceptual thinking about diversity in Victorian society

    Article

    How Victorian were the Victorians? Developing Year 8 students' conceptual thinking about diversity in Victorian societyElizabeth Carr writes here about a new scheme of work she developed to teach students about diversity in Victorian society. When dealing with a concept such as diversity, it can be easy for students to...

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  • Witchcraft - Using fiction with Year 8s

    Article

    Which women were executed for witchcraft? And which pupils cared? Low-attaining Year 8 use fiction to tackle three demons: extended reading, diversity and causationPaula Worth was concerned that her lowattaining set were only going through the motions when tackling causal explanation. Identifying, prioritising and weighing causes seemed an empty routine...

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  • Cunning Plan 143: enquiries about the British empire

    Article

    I wanted to give my Year 8 students ownership of their work on the British Empire by allowing them to suggest our ‘enquiry question'. In order to introduce the Empire, I brought in sugar, spices, bananas, chilli peppers and cotton. I then showed maps demonstrating the Empire at its height....

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  • A comparative revolution?

    Article

    An argument for in-depth study of the Iranian revolution in a familiar way Although the curriculum changes of 2008 brought with them new GCSE specifications, Jonathan White was disappointed by the dated feel of some ‘Modern World' options, particularly the depth studies on offer. Drawing on his experience of teaching...

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  • 'There is no end to a circle nor to what can be done within it.' Circle Time in the secondary history classroom

    Article

    Circle Time is a commonly used technique in primary classrooms and is sometimes used in secondary personal and social education lessons. This open form of classroom organisation allows pupils to share opinions in a democratic environment. John Stanier came across Circle Time through pastoral lessons but saw plenty of opportunity...

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  • Bringing psychology into history: why do some stories disappear?

    Article

    History is always a relationship between the present and the past and the meaning of the past shifts as values and events change in the present. In this article Anne Llewellyn and Helen Snelson use a fascinating individual search for the meaning of a family past to get pupils thinking about...

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  • Nutshell 135: The challenge of analysing 'difference'

    Article

    Hello Nutshell. What's all this stuff in the NC Attainment Target about ‘nature', ‘extent' and ‘interplay' of diversity? The trick is to look behind the word ‘diversity'. Then it all makes sense...

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  • Drilling down: how one history department is working towards progression in pupils' thinking about diversity across Years 7, 8 and 9

    Article

    Matthew Bradshaw shares the early, tentative efforts of his history department to shape a new Key Stage 3 workscheme in the light of the 2008 National Curriculum for England. While his department's scheme is designed to secure progression in all conceptual areas, he chooses to focus here on the concept...

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  • Teaching History 135: To They or Not To They

    Article

    Drilling down: how one history department is working towards progression in pupils' thinking about diversity across Years 7, 8 and 9, Were industrial towns ‘death-traps'? Year 9 learn to question generalisations and to challenge their preconceptions about the ‘boring' 19th century, Bringing psychology into history: why do some stories disappear?...

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