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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  • Teaching controversial issues...where controversial issues really matter

    Article

    This is the fourth in a series of Teaching History articles about teaching history in N orthern Ireland co-authored by Alan McCully. The first two articles (in editions 106 and 114) outlined teaching strategies to help pupils in N orthern Ireland understand and relate to complex and often controversial issues...

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  • The Hopi is different from the Pawnee: using a datafile to explore pattern and diversity

    Article

    Dave Martin identifies the factors which led to new knowledge and understanding in a mixed ability Year 7 class. Not only did these pupils acquire greater knowledge of the native peoples of North America, they also learned transferable techniques for identifying and analysing pattern and diversity. Clear learning objectives led...

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  • The T.E.A.C.H. Report

    Article

    The TEACH report outlines the sort of good practice in teaching sensitive topics which is available for teachers to share, not least through the Historical Association's programme of subject-specific training. 

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  • They took Ireland away from us and we've got to fight to get it back'. Using fictional characters to explore the relationship between historical interpretation and contemporary attitudes

    Article

    Helping students to understand how and why people in the present interpret the past differently is a challenge. It is also vital if we are to develop an understanding of why the meanings we ascribe to the past are not fixed, but rather are subject to our own prejudices or...

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  • Thinking beyond boundaries

    Article

    In October of last year, the Royal Historical Society (RHS) published an important report highlighting the racial and ethnic inequalities in the teaching and practice of history in the UK (RHS, 2018). Focused on history teaching at university, it nevertheless highlighted the need for thinking to occur at all levels...

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  • Thinking from the inside: je suis le roi

    Article

    Dale Banham and Ian Dawson show how active learning deepens students’ understanding of attitudes and reactions to the Norman Conquest. At the same time they build a bold argument for active learning, including a direct strike at the two most common objections to it. Many teachers still see it as...

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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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  • 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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  • Triumphs Show 167: Keeping the 1960s complicated

    Article

    During her PGCE year, it became evident to Rachel Coleman just how much pupils struggled with the complicated nature of history. They were troubled in particular by the lack of definitive answers, by the range of perspectives that might be held at the time of a particular event or development...

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  • Triumphs Show 170: making a place for fieldwork in history lessons

    Article

    Why ‘do’ local history? The new (grades 9–1) GCSE specifications place a lot of importance on the local environment. The rationale for this is to get students to situate a site in its historical context, and to examine the relationship between local and national developments. Initially this change was the...

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  • Triumphs Show 173: Teaching Black Tudors

    Article

    I am ashamed to admit that, until recently, my teaching of black history did not go beyond schemes of work on the transatlantic slave trade and the civil rights movement in the USA. This all changed in November 2017 when I heard Dr Miranda Kaufmann on the ‘BBC History Extra’...

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  • Uncovering the hidden histories: black and Asian people in the two world wars

    Article

    The stories we tell in history are often stories about ourselves. This can lead to tremendous distortion. Rupert Gaze was shocked when a young black student told him that there was no point in his studying the Second World War because it had nothing to do with him or his...

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  • Understanding Key Concepts: Diversity

    Article

    This material enables history teachers to explore the concept of diversity. Section 1 discusses the concept of diversity and its importance in the history curriculum. It offers guidance on building the concept of diversity into a unit on the movement and settlement of peoples to, from and within the British...

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  • Walter Tull: Sport, War and Challenging Adversity

    Article

    Produced by the Northamptonshire Black History Association, these packs comprise a teachers' resource book, a schemes of work booklet of 10 activities for teachers to use in the classroom, and a CD of the 52 sources used throughout the schemes of work booklet. The resource book contains National Curriculum subject links and...

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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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  • Whose (hi)stories are we telling?

    Article

    This workshop took place at the HA Annual Conference May 2016 in Harrogate. Katherine Burn, University of Oxford This workshop explores the process of planning a rigorous and engaging historical enquiry that begins with the extraordinary story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, in the context of the transatlantic slave trade and...

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  • Why are you wearing a watch? Complicating narratives of economic and social progress

    Article

    Frustrated by the traditional narrative of the industrial revolution as a steady march of progress, and disappointed by her students’ dull and deterministic statements about historical change, Hannah Sibona decided to complicate the tidy narrative of continual improvement. Inspired by an article by E.P. Thompson, Sibona reflected that introducing her...

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  • Widening the early modern world to create a more connected KS3 curriculum

    Article

    Readers of this journal will be familiar with a number of ways of approaching the Tudors. Kerry Apps provides here an article detailing her concerns about the differences between what she had been delivering at Key Stage 3 and the broader, connected experience she had as an undergraduate historian. How...

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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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  • 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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