You should be proud about your history. They make you feel ashamed:' Teaching history hurts

Article

Kay Traille, last updated: 31st May 2007

As history teachers we are used to encouraging pupils to think; enabling them to express thoughts with clarity both verbally and in written form. Yet, if history as a school subject becomes purely cognitive, then something is missing. History deals with human behaviour and therefore the affective and the emotional form an important part of the subject. How often, though, do we as history teachers consider the emotional responses of our pupils to the topics we teach? Traille has completed her doctoral research with students of African-Caribbean descent and their mothers on their experiences of and attitudes to school history, specifically the way that black people are sometimes portrayed. It makes for stark reading. Lessons can be drawn about the inclusion of many pupils traditionally represented only on the edges of our history curriculum whether through race, class, sex or religion. This is essential reading before revising any schemes of work for Curriculum 2008.

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