Illuminating the possibilities of the past

Teaching History article

By Claire Holliss, published 16th December 2021

The role of representation in A-level curriculum planning

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 think of work on widening the curriculum less as a project focused on important but essentially external goals, such as social justice, and more as an exercise in being faithful to the discipline of history and responding to new scholarship in better representing the complexity of the past. Drawing on examples from various A-level modules – dealing with the Tudors and the British Empire and a coursework unit spanning the twentieth century – she explains how she came to conceptualise her end goal as ‘representative’ rather than ‘diverse’ history and illustrates the different ways in which she has sought to achieve it...

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