Teaching students to argue for themselves - KS3


By Keeley Richards, published 4th October 2012

Avoiding a din at dinner or, teaching students to argue for themselves: Year 13 plan a historians' dinner party

Keeley Richards secured a fundamental shift in some of her Year 13 students' ability to argue. She did it by getting them to engage more fully with the practice of argument itself, as enacted by four historians. At the centre of her lesson sequence was an original activity: the historians' dinner party.

Richards uses this activity to point to wider curricular problems and their potential solutions. First, she joins other teacher authors in calling for more continuity in practice from Years 7 to 13, a continuity that would tackle the frustrating truncation of the best work on ‘interpretations of history' at the end of Key Stage 3. Second, in the interests of developing students' ability to argue for themselves, Richards uses a practical feature of the dinner party activity itself to make the case for students to situate themselves within a scholarly argument...

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