What Is History Teaching? Language, Ideas, and Meaning in Learning about the Past

What Is History Teaching? Language, Ideas, and Meaning in Learning about the Past

What Is History Teaching? Language, Ideas, and Meaning in Learning about the Past

What Is History Teaching? Language, Ideas, and Meaning in Learning about the Past

Synopsis



• How do pupils make sense of the past?

• What is the relationship between the way historians construct interpretations of the past and the way pupils learn history in schools?

This book draws together developments in a wide range of fields: in academic history, in the study of language and in classroom research on pupil learning, as the basis for a distinctive approach to the teaching and learning of history in school. Chris Husbands analyses four approaches to learning about the past: through looking at evidence, through the language of the past, through story and through the imagination. He emphasises the ways in which pupils and historians structure their own interpretations of history and considers the implications for teachers by examining the ways in which classroom talk, writing and assessment can support the development of sophisticated understandings of the past.

Excerpt

This book explores some ideas about the teaching and learning of history in schools. It looks at the way in which pupils learn history, the difficulties they encounter and some of the ways in which the subject is represented to them in classrooms. In doing so, the book draws eclectically on a variety of traditions in the recent development of, particularly, cultural and intellectual history, in the development of thinking about talk and writing in schools over the last decade and on the ways in which teachers and researchers in history education have been thinking about the nature of pupil learning.

Inevitably, in writing such a book I have been heavily reliant on discussions with students and colleagues. The book draws on some of the ideas I explored over five years of teaching at the University of East Anglia, and it would not have been written without the discussions I have been able to have with students, colleagues and schoolteachers. My own ideas have changed and developed considerably, but they would not have done so without these contacts. Amongst my students, I am particularly grateful to Jonathan Payne, Arthur Chapman, Peter Harris, Patrick Earnshaw, Helen Lugger, Mark Quinn and Indy Clark; their inputs into this text will be obvious to them. At the University of East Anglia, I was very grateful for long and always illuminating discussions with Beverley Labbett and Grant Bage. Edward Acton and Martin and Jennifer Tucker read substantial elements of the text and commented thoughtfully, helpfully and with controlled tact. Roy Barton has been able to introduce me to important parallel developments in science education, and to cast . . .

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