Teaching History: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher


Ian Phillips

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Reflective Teaching and Learning: A guide to professional issues for beginning secondary teachers

    Edited by Sue Dymoke and Jennifer Harrison

    Reflective practice is at the heart of effective teaching. This core text is an introduction for beginning secondary teachers on developing the art of critical reflective teaching throughout their professional work. Designed as a flexible resource, the book combines theoretical background with practical reflective activities.

    Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher Series

    These subject-specific core texts are for beginning secondary teachers following PGCE, GTP or undergraduate routes into teaching. Each book provides a comprehensive guide to beginning subject teachers, offering practical guidance to support students through their training and beyond. Most importantly, the books are designed to help students develop a more reflective and critical approach to their own practice. Key features of the series are:

    • observed lessons, providing both worked examples of good practice and commentaries by the teachers themselves and other observers
    • an introduction to national subject frameworks including a critical examination of the role and status of each subject
    • support for beginning teachers on all aspects of subject teaching, including planning, assessment, classroom management, differentiation and teaching strategies
    • a trainee-focused approach to critical and analytical reflection on practice
    • a research-based section demonstrating M-level work
    • a comprehensive companion website linking all subjects, featuring video clips of sample lessons, a range of support material and weblinks.

    Teaching Mathematics

    Paul Chambers

    Teaching History

    Ian Phillips


    Teaching Science

    Tony Liversidge, Matt Cochrane, Bernie Kerfoot and Judith Thomas

    Teaching ICT

    Carl Simmons and Claire Hawkins

    Teaching English

    Alyson Midgley, Peter Woolnough, Lynne Warham and Phil Rigby


    View Copyright Page

    List of Figures

    • 3.1 Understanding key concepts and key processes 61
    • 3.2 Medium-term planning: developing a coherent series of lessons 67
    • 3.3 The dynamics of a lesson plan 74
    • 4.1 A living graph template 90
    • 5.1 Kolb's learning cycle 101
    • 5.2 Using processing to understand causation 104
    • 6.1 Ofsted, history and assessment 123
    • 6.2 Progression in historical understanding: the National Curriculum perspective 128
    • 7.1 Key Stage 3 and GCSE teaching and learning strategies 158
    • 7.2 Constructing an A level lesson 159
    • 8.1 History Think Tank Report 186
    • 8.2 Developing understanding of EAL: a different perspective 191
    • 9.1 The role of the teacher in developing on line learning 209
    • 10.1 Using historical concepts and processes to structure and shape citizenship study 218
    • 10.2 Avoiders and risk-takers 230
    • 11.1 National Qualifications Framework 250

    List of Tables

    • 1.1 The nature of historical understanding: the relationship between the substantive and procedural elements of history 13
    • 1.2 Progression in historical understanding 17
    • 1.3 Defining and describing history teachers' professional craft knowledge 19
    • 2.1 Opening topic for French pupils in their final year at college 29
    • 2.2 An Evolutionary guide to the history National Curriculum 34
    • 2.3 Why chronology has become a more significant organizing concept in the history National Curriculum 43
    • 3.1 Lesson planning: asking questions 57
    • 3.2 Linking objectives with key concepts and key processes 60
    • 4.1 Hierarchy of thinking skills 94
    • 7.1 Comparison of current (2007) criteria and draft criteria 144
    • 7.2 GCSE assessment objectives 145
    • 8.1 Different perspectives on gifted and talented 182
    • 9.1 Improvements in ICT capability in history teaching 196
    • 11.1 Thinking about new professional craft knowledge 243


    I would like to begin by thanking the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University for allowing me a period of sabbatical leave to complete this book. In particular I would like to acknowledge the help and encouragement of Dr Graham Rogers who has proved to be a particularly astute colleague over many years, whose considered advice is always invaluable. His ideas about teaching and learning history in higher education have helped to shape my ideas about working with Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) trainees.

    Tony Crowley and Cynthia Miles, my colleagues on the History team have been valued friends and workmates. Phil Rigby and Francis Farrell as successive Heads of Humanities have also provided a great deal of support and encouragement.

    I am also grateful to Lesley Ann McDermott, Head of History at St Patrick's Comprehensive Thornaby and Jason Brierly, Head of History at St George's Church of England Business and Enterprise College, Blackpool for their contributions to the ideas on thinking skills.

    Particular thanks are due to Peter Duffy, Assistant Principal at North Liverpool Academy and his willing and unselfconscious students. Without his assistance and their co-operation the filmed lesson sequences would not have been possible. The North Liverpool Academy students proved to be the real professionals being filmed at the end of the school year on one of the wettest July Mondays.

    Finally I would like to thank the History PGCE trainees, past and present from Edge Hill University who have invariably proved to be enthusiastic new history teachers and colleagues. However particular thanks are due to the classes of 2005–06 and 2006–07 who became willing collaborators and contributors to this venture.

    I also hope that the completed volume will go some way to convincing my three sons that writing at home does involve hard work and long hours but little pecuniary advantage – which they still find hard to understand.

    How to Use This Book

    As you start your training to become a teacher, you will be faced with a bewildering array of information and requests for your personal details. A lot of the information will come from your training provider, and will give details about the course that you are starting. Your personal details will be required in order to compile a curriculum vitae (CV) that can be sent out to your placement schools; they will also be needed so that you can receive clearance to work with children from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). Very early on, you will learn that your success on the training course depends on your ability to demonstrate competence in the Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) that are laid down by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

    This book is designed to help you to make a success of your training course. It shows you how to plan lessons, how to make good use of resources and how to assess pupils' progress effectively. But its main aim is to help you learn how to improve your classroom performance. In order to improve, you need to have skills of analysis and self-evaluation, and you need to know what you are trying to achieve and why. You also need examples of how experienced teachers deliver successful lessons, and how even the best teachers continually strive to become even better.

    The book has a practical focus. It will help you to feel more comfortable about what is expected from you on teaching practice, through demonstrating good practice in history teaching, but also through putting that good practice into a whole-school and a national context. You will, for example, find suggestions about how history lessons can contribute to whole-school initiatives such as developing pupils' thinking skills.

    A key feature of this book is the accompanying website (http://www.sagepub.co.uk/secondary). The icon shown in the margin will appear throughout the text where additional material is available. The website contains simple links to all of the websites featured in the various chapters, together with additional links to sites that provide useful support for your history teaching. The book makes extensive references to three history lessons. On the website you will find documents that give you a breakdown of the teaching and learning sequences for each lesson. Commentary in the text will refer to an incident or detail by the time; for example, you might be asked to view a teaching sequence which runs from 4 mins 30 secs to 7 mins 15 secs. The filmed lessons demonstrate key aspects of planning, teaching and student learning but the commentary will also draw your attention to particular aspects of a teacher–student dialogue or perhaps to a series of resources which are being used in a lesson. The video clips are in Windows media video file format (.wmv), and give the best quality visuals if viewed with Windows Media Player. (Players that support this file type are Windows Media Player 7 Windows Media Player for Windows XP, Windows Media Player 9 Series, Windows Media Player 10 and Windows Media Player 11.)

    Although the focus throughout is on improving your professional skills, there is no attempt to provide a ‘tick list’ of how to achieve each of the individual Professional Standards for QTS. I believe that a more holistic approach is more suitable for this sort of publication. The book addresses professional attributes, professional knowledge and understanding, and professional skills in a more holistic way than the way they are presented in the Standards. You will, however, find frequent reference to the Standards, and it is hoped that through using the book reflectively, you will acquire the general skills required to gather and present your evidence against each of the Standards statements. A rough guide to where the book addresses individual Standards is given in the following chart.

    Table H.1 Professional Standards for Qualified Teacher Status

    As the title of the series suggests, this book aims to help you to develop into a reflective practitioner. Each chapter contains several points for reflection. These encourage you to break off from your reading and consider the issue being discussed. Sometimes you are asked to compare the information in the text with your own experience; sometimes you are asked to complete a small task. It is hoped that you will not be in a hurry to read through the whole book; take your time, reflect on the issues presented and, if possible, discuss the issues with other trainees.

    The main focus of the book is on practical advice, but there is another area of your course where I hope that you will find the book useful. If you are undertaking an award-bearing course (for example, leading to a PGCE or a degree with QTS), then you will have to do some assignments.

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    Leonard, A. (1999) ‘Exceptional performance at GCSE: what makes a starred A?’, Teaching History, 95: 20–3.
    Leonard, A. (2000) ‘Achieving progression from the GCSE to AS’, Teaching History, 98: 30–5.
    Lomas, T. (1993) Teaching and Assessing Historical Understanding. Pamphlet. London: Histotical Association.
    Luff, I. (2000) ‘“I've been in the Reichstag”: rethinking role-play’, Teaching History, 100: 8–17.
    Luff, I. (2003) ‘Stretching the straitjacket of assessment: use of role play and practical demonstration to enrich pupils’ experience of History at GCSE and beyond’, Teaching History, 113: 26–35.
    Lydon, D. (2006) ‘Integrating Black history into the National Curriculum’, Teaching History, 122: 37–43.
    MacNamara, D. (1991) ‘Subject knowledge and its application: problems and possibilities for teacher educators’, Journal of Education for Teaching, 17(2): 113–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0260747910170201
    Martin, D., Coffin, C. and North, S. (2007) ‘What's your claim? Developing pupils’ historical argument through asynchronous text based computer conferencing’, Teaching History, 126: 32–7.
    Mastin, S. and Wallace, P. (2006) ‘Why don't the Chinese play cricket? Rethinking progression in historical interpretations through the British Empire’, Teaching History, 122: 6–15.
    Mazower, M. (2004) Salonika: City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430–1950. London: HarperCollins.
    McAleavy, T. (1994) ‘Meeting pupils’ learning needs: differentiation and progression in the teaching of history’, in H.Bourdillon (ed.), Teaching History. London: Routledge. pp. 153–68.
    McAleavy, T. (1998) ‘The use of sources in history’, Teaching History, 91: 10–16.
    McAleavy, T. (2000) ‘Teaching about interpretations’, in J.Arthur and R.Phillips, (eds), Issues in History Teaching. London: Falmer. pp. 72–82.
    McCully, A. and Barton, K. (2005) ‘History, identity, and the school curriculum in Northern Ireland: an empirical study of secondary students’ ideas and perspectives’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37, 1: 85–116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0022027032000266070
    McGuinness, C. (1999) ‘From thinking skills to thinking classrooms: a review and evaluation of approaches for developing pupils thinking’: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/programmeofresearch/projectinformation.cfm?projectid=12823&resultspage=1.
    Menocal, M.R. (2002) Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. New York: Little, Brown.
    Michaux, M. (1997) Enseigner L ‘Histoire au College. Paris: Armand Colin.
    Monsarrat, N. (2002) The Cruel Sea. London: Penguin.
    Moon, J. (2006) We Seek It Here; a New Perspective on the Elusive Activity of Critical Thinking: a Theoretical and Practical Approach. Bristol: Escalate.
    Moon, J. (2006) Learning Journals: A Handbook for Reflective Practice and Professional Development. London: Routledge.
    Moore, R. (2000) ‘Using the Internet to teach about interpretations in years 9 and 12’, Teaching History, 101: 35–9.
    Moorhouse, D. (2006) ‘When computers don't give you a headache: the most able lead a debate on medicine through time’, Teaching History, 124: 30–6.
    Mulholland, M. (1998) ‘Frameworks for linking pupils’ evidential understanding with growing skill in structured written argument: the evidence sandwich’, Teaching History, 91: 17–19.
    Murray, M. (2002) ‘“Which was more important Sir, ordinary people getting electricity or the rise of Hitler?” Using Ethel and Ernest with Y9’, Teaching History, 107: 20–5.
    National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) (2005) Supporting High Achievement in History: Conclusions of the NAGTY History Think Tank 28 & 29 November 2005. Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.
    National Council for Educational Technology (BECTa)/Historical Association (NCET/HA) (1998a) History Using IT. Improving Students’ Writing Using Word Processing. Coventry: NCET.
    National Council for Educational Technology (BECTa)/Historical Association (NCET/HA) (1998b) History Using IT. Searching for Patterns in the Past Using Databases and Spreadsheets. Coventry: NCET.
    Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2000) Subject Reports Secondary History. London: HMSO. Available online: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/assets/2909.pdf.
    Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2004) Subject Conference Report: History: Interpretations of History. Available online: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/assets/3794.pdf.
    Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2004a) 2004 Report: ICT in Schools – the Impact of Government Initiatives: Secondary History. London: HMSO. Available online: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/assets/3645.pdf.
    Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2005) The Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools 2004–5. London: HMSO. Available online: http://live.ofsted.gov.uk/publications/annualreport0405/subject_reports.html.
    Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2007) History in the Balance: History in English Schools 2003–07. Available online: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/publications/070043.
    Pankhania, J. (1994) Liberating the National History Curriculum. London: Falmer Press.
    Phillips, R. (1998) History Teaching, Nationhood and the State. London: Cassell.
    Phillips, R. (2000) ‘Government policies, the state and the teaching of history’, in J.Arthur and R.Phillips (eds), Issues in History Teaching. London: Routledge. pp. 10–23.
    Phillips, R. (2001) ‘Making history curious: using Initial Stimulus Material (ISM) to promote enquiry, thinking and literacy’, Teaching History, 105: 19–25.
    Phillips, R. (2002) ‘Historical significance: the forgotten “Key Element?”1’, Teaching History, 106: 14–19.
    Prior, J. and John, P.D. (2001) ‘From anecdote to argument: using the word processor to connect knowledge and opinion through revelatory writing’, Teaching History, 101: 31–4.
    Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)Subject Benchmark Statements: History: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/academicinfrastructure/benchmark/honours/history.asp.
    Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) (1998) Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools: Final Report of the Advisory Group on Citizenship (Crick Report)London: QCA. Available online: http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_4851.aspx.
    Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) (2005) The Annual Report on Curriculum and Assessment in History, 2004/05. Available online: http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_10241.aspx.
    Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA) (2007) History Programme of Study for Key Stage 3 and Attainment Target. London: HMSO. Available online: http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/uploads/QCA-07-3335-p_History3_tcm6-189.pdf?return=http%3A//curriculum.qca.org.uk/subjects/history/index.aspx%3Freturn%3Dhttp%253A//curriculum.qca.org.uk/subjects/index.aspx.
    Rayner, L. (1999) ‘Weighing a century with a web site: teaching Y9 to be critical’, Teaching History, 96: 19–22.
    Richardson, H. (2000) ‘The QCA history scheme of work for Key Stage 3’, Teaching History, 99: 14–19.
    Riley, C. (1999) ‘Evidential understanding, period knowledge and the development of literacy: a practical approach to “layers of inference” for key stage 3’, Teaching History, 97: 6–12.
    Riley, M. (1997) ‘Big stories and big pictures: making outlines and overviews interesting’, Teaching History, 88: 20–2.
    Riley, M. (2000) ‘Into the Key Stage 3 history garden: choosing and planting your enquiry questions’, Teaching History, 99: 8–13.
    Riley, M. and Harris, R. (2002) Past Forward: A Vision of School History 2002–2012. London: Historical Association.
    Rosenzweig, R. (2000) ‘How Americans use and think about the past’, in P.N.Stearns, P.Seixas and S.Wineburg (eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History. New York: New York University Press. pp. 262–83.
    Rudham, R. (2001a) ‘A noisy classroom is a thinking classroom: speaking and listening in Year 7 history’, Teaching History, 105: 35–41.
    Rudham, R. (2001b) ‘The new history AS level: principles for planning a scheme of work’, Teaching History, 103: 18–21.
    Salmon, G. (2000) E Moderating: the Key to Teaching and Learning On Line. London: Routledge.
    Salmons, P. (2003) ‘Teaching or Preaching? The Holocaust and intercultural education in the UK’, Intercultural Education, 14(2): 139–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14675980304568
    School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA) (1994) History in the National Curriculum, Draft Proposals. May. London: HMSO.
    ‘Schools drop Holocaust lessons’ (2007) Guardian, 2 April: http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0„2048161,00.html.
    Scott, A. (2006) ‘Essay writing for everyone: an investigation into different methods used to teach Year 9 to write an essay’, Teaching History, 123: 26–33.
    Sellar, W. and Yeatman, R. (1998) 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England. London: Methuen.
    Shemilt, D. (1976) A New Look at History. (Schools Council History Project.)Edinburgh: Holmes McDougall.
    Shemilt, D. (1980) History 13–16: Evaluation Study. Edinburgh: Holmes McDougall.
    Shemilt, D. (1984) ‘Beauty and the philosopher: empathy in history and classroom’, in A.K.Dickinson, P.J.Lee and P.J.Rogers (eds), Learning History. London: Heinemann. pp. 39–84.
    Shemilt, D. (2000) ‘The caliph's coin: the currency of narrative frameworks in history teaching’, in P.N.Stearns, P.Seixas and S.Wineburg (eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History. New York: New York University Press.
    Shulman, L. (1986) ‘Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching’, Educational Researcher, 15: 4–14.
    Slater, J. (1988) The Politics of History Teaching: A Humanity Dehumanised, Special Professorial Lecture. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
    Slater, J. (1989) The Politics of History Teaching: A Humanity Dehumanised. London: Institute of Education, University of London.
    Slater, J. (1995) Teaching History in the New Europe. London: Cassell.
    Smith, P. (2001) ‘Why Gerry now likes evidential work’, Teaching History, 102: 8–13.
    Smith, P. (2002) ‘International relations at GCSE – they just can't get enough of it’, Teaching History, 108: 19–22.
    Stearns, P.N., Seixas, P. and Wineburg, S. (eds) (2000) Knowing Teaching and Learning History. New York: New York University Press.
    Stephen, A. (2005) ‘Why can't they just live together happily Miss? Unravelling the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict at GCSE’, Teaching History, 120: 5–10.
    Stouder, P. (1999) Enseigner L'Histoire au College avec Les Documents Patrimoniaux. Paris: Armand Colin.
    Stow, W. and Haydn, T. (2000) ‘Issues in the teaching of chronology’, in J.Arthur and R.Phillips (eds), Issues in History Teaching. London: Routledge. pp. 83–97.
    Styles, S. and Willoughby, S. (1992) ‘History in Lancashire: guidelines for the construction of a departmental policy document’, Lancashire County Council Advisory Service.
    Sylvester, D. (1994) ‘Change and continuity in history teaching 1900–93’, in H.Bourdillon (ed.), Teaching History. London: Routledge. pp. 9–23.
    Tillbrook, M. (2002) ‘Content restricted and maturation retarded? Problems with the post-16 history curriculum’, Teaching History, 109: 24–6.
    Timmins, G., Vernon, K. and Kinealy, C. (2005) Teaching and Learning History: Teaching and Learning the Humanities in Higher Education. London: Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446216477
    Traille, K. (2006) ‘“You should be proud about your history. They made me feel ashamed”: teaching history hurts’, Teaching History, 127: 31–7.
    Walsh, B. (1998) ‘Why Gerry likes history now: the power of the word processor’, Teaching History, 93: 6–15.
    Walsh, B. (1999) ‘Practical classroom approaches to the iconography of Irish history in the classroom’, Teaching History, 97: 16–19.
    Ward, R. (2006) ‘Duffy's devices: teaching Year 13 to read and write’, Teaching History, 124: 9–16.
    White, J. (2004) ‘Howard Gardner: the myth of multiple intelligences’, lecture at Institute of Education, University of London, 17 November: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/schools/mst/LTU/phil/HowardGardner_171104.pdf.
    Wineburg, S. (2000) ‘Making historical sense’, in P.N.Stearns, P.Seixas and S.Wineburg (eds), Knowing, Teaching and Learning History. New York: New York University Press. pp. 306–25.
    Wineburg, S. (2001) Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
    Woodcock, J. (2005) ‘Does the linguistic release the conceptual? Helping Year 10 to improve their causal reasoning’, Teaching History, 119: 5–14.
    Wrenn, A. (1999a) ‘Build it in, don't bolt it on: history's contribution to support critical citizenship’, Teaching History, 96: 6–12.
    Wrenn, A. (1999b) ‘Substantial sculptures or sad little plaques? Making interpretations matter to Y9’, Teaching History, 97: 21–8.
    Wrenn, A. (2004) ‘Making learning drive assessment: Joan of Arc – saint, witch or warrior?’, Teaching History, 115: 44–51.
    http://www.heirnet.org/ is the website of the History Educators International Research Network, International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research, with useful articles, particularly on the curriculum.
    http://www.nagty.ac.uk/thinktanks, the NAGTY history think tank.
    http://www.nc.uk.net/gt/history/examples_ks3.htm, for the QCA/National Curriculum.
    http://ygt.dcsf.gov.uk/HomePage.aspx?stakeholder=3, the new Young Gifted and Talented website.

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