Looking through a Josephine-Butler shaped window: focusing pupils' thinking on historical significance

Teaching History article

By Christine Counsell, published 31st July 2005

Christine Counsell draws upon her recent work in developing definitions and practice concerning pupils' thinking about historical significance. Here she tries out those ideas in relation to the 19th century campaigner against the Contagious Diseases Acts,  Josephine Butler. Counsell explains why she developed her own set of criteria for structuring pupils' thinking about historical significance and she encourages other history teachers to do likewise. She focuses chiefly upon one possible criterion that might inform judgements about historical significance - the extent to which an event, person or development is historically ‘revealing'.

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