Does revision always mean reduction?

‘Which one was Canning Miss?’ ‘He was the Tory Prime Minister in 1827.’ ‘Oh.’ [Frowns]. ‘He’s the one who had the duel with Castlereagh – the one who completely missed.’ ‘Oh yeah! Him! He was the liberal one who the old fashioned ones didn’t like, wasn’t he? The bloke who liked Catholics?’ My Year 12…

“Your brain is like a forest”: being transparent with pupils about ‘desirable difficulties’ in learning information

It’s revision season in our school. We have some excellent resources on ‘active revision strategies’, and we’ve taken the principles of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’ seriously. I personally have learnt a lot from Christodoulou’s excellent  book ‘Seven Myths About Education‘ (2014). Yet what we are perhaps lacking in is enough transparency about the importance of struggling when revising for…

How to lose a game in school

“In a competition, the winners and losers both lose” – The Dalai Lama.  I have created many history-related games for use in the classroom, including two published in the journal Teaching History (issues 149 and 154). I look forward to the point in the Scheme of Work when I can use the games with the students,…

The impact of personality in the classroom

What is the impact of personality on teaching? Does personality matter when it comes to teacher effectiveness? Should I try to change any elements of  my personality in order to be a better teacher? To begin my short study on personality, I began with a rather dated American study by F. Tyler, which had the promising…

What is ‘Raising Aspirations’?

The course is designed to introduce students to “historiography”. In delivering the course, my aim is to encourage and inspire pupils from deprived state schools to think about applying to Oxbridge and Russell Group universities to read History.  As an example, in its first year, pupils came from four schools, including two schools with a high proportion…

A History of History

The first session. These resources are designed to help pupils understand some of the bigger turning points and trends in the development of historiography, from Herodotus to Marx. Reading Resource:  A Summary History of History Reader Activity: A Summary History of History Table

Causation in History

The second session. This reading resource is designed to be used alongside my ‘Collapse of the Tsarist Empire Game‘ (published in the journal Teaching History, Number 149). The game serves as an introduction to the concept of causation in History, and asks pupils to grapple with E.H. Carr’s seminal work on historical causation (Chapter 4 in his…

From Positivism to Postmodernism

The third session. This reading resource can stand alone as an introduction to positivist and postmodernist approaches to history, although I use it alongside an activity on how the Third Crusade has been interpreted differently, which I wrote up in an article on ‘Reading and Writing Narrative‘ (available from the journal Teaching History, Number 156) . The…