‘Its ultimate pattern was greater than its parts’

Teaching History journal article

Ed Durbin, last updated: 26th September 2018

Using a patchwork quilt analogy at Key Stage 3 to support analytical thinking at GCSE

Identifying the challenges his students faced both with recall and analysis of the content they had learned for their GCSE course, Ed Durbin devised a solution which focused not on exam skills and revision lessons, but on using Key Stage 3 to build the ‘hinterland’ of contextual knowledge and causal analysis his students required to make sense of their GCSE course. Drawing the analogy of a patchwork quilt from historical scholarship on the problems facing African Americans in the Jim Crow South, Durbin deployed rich and diverse content to bring breadth and complexity to his Year 8 students’ thinking about causation. In doing so, he created a rich hinterland of knowledge into which students will be able to situate new knowledge and analysis at GCSE.

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