Interdisciplinary forays within the history classroom: how the visual arts can enhance (or hinder) historical understanding


By Liz Dawes Duraisingh and Veronica Boix Mansilla, published 13th September 2009

How might history and art mutually enrich each other and enhance pupil experience? The short answer, and there is much more to be said as Liz Dawes Duraisingh and Veronica Boix Mansilla show, is by taking themselves seriously as disciplines. This article reports and reflects on a case study of truly interdisciplinary work that aimed to integrate artistic understanding into historical learning in strategic and rigorous ways. The results of this rigorous and disciplined approach are very encouraging: as the discussion of pupil outcomes suggests, integrating historical inquiry with the distinct concepts, tools and modes of thinking associated with another discipline can create a new understanding that could not have arisen through an historical lens alone and can enhance pupils' personal connection with the past and their sense of the relevance of past events.

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