Interpretations and history teaching


By Gary Howells, published 1st December 2005

Why Ronald Hutton's Debates in Stuart History matters

Gary Howells offers us a challenge: are we sure that we are teaching the study of interpretations correctly? It is much criticised at GCSE, but do we really engage our students in the process of writing history, and in understanding how history works, from 11-14? Or do we use reductive techniques which, as at GCSE, result only in our students jumping through hoops? Using Ronald Hutton’s Debates in Stuart History as a starting point, Howells offers a theoretical solution, and some practical examples to back up his ideas about how and why our students should be taught to think about interpretations, and how their thinking about this key element should progress over time.

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