Thinking across time: planning and teaching the story of power and democracy at Key Stage 3

Teaching History article

By Ian Dawson, published 29th April 2008

Planning and teaching the story of power and democracy at Key Stage 3

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Ian Dawson's seminal work on developing chronological understanding - in Teaching History 117, on the website and elsewhere - will be familiar to readers. In this article Dawson considers the question, very much on the agenda currently given the revisions to Key Stage 3 for September 2008, of how we can best help pupils develop a coherent understanding of the past over the course of their studies. The  article reflects on this question by modelling and discussing ways of delivering the Key Stage 3 unit on the development of political power from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century and by developing an approach to teaching large scale units like this through ‘thematic stories'. The article also contains discussion points to help history departments develop their collective thinking on this issue.

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