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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  • You hear about it for real in school.' Avoiding, containing and risk-taking in the classroom

    Article

    In this article, Alison Kitson and Alan McCully discuss the findings of their research into history teaching in the most divided part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland. Drawing on interviews with students and teachers, they consider what history teaching might contribute to an understanding of the current situation and...

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  • You should be proud about your history. They make you feel ashamed:' Teaching history hurts

    Article

    As history teachers we are used to encouraging pupils to think; enabling them to express thoughts with clarity both verbally and in written form. Yet, if history as a school subject becomes purely cognitive, then something is missing. History deals with human behaviour and therefore the affective and the emotional...

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  • ‘Its ultimate pattern was greater than its parts’

    Article

    Identifying the challenges his students faced both with recall and analysis of the content they had learned for their GCSE course, Ed Durbin devised a solution which focused not on exam skills and revision lessons, but on using Key Stage 3 to build the ‘hinterland’ of contextual knowledge and causal...

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