History teachers love…

… reflecting on how to teach something better next time.  No, really!  One of the best things about this job is the endless need to be creative, to experiment, to reflect on how something went, to go back to the drawing board and to improve it.  My current reflection is historical interpretations.  How do I get better at teaching this tricky concept to Key Stage 3 students?  Thanks to Michael Fordham’s session at July 2014’s SHP conference (see his blog at: http://clioetcetera.com), I already have some new ideas to try with the Wars of the Roses that I developed over the summer.  But what I am really getting into is story and interpretations.  Take Cromwell, for instance.  What people over the centuries have done with Cromwell is take a part of his story and make it part of their own story.  For example, in the 1890s people wanting to celebrate the British Empire and its Parliament selected parts of his story to weave into their story about how both came to be great (in their view, of course).  Whereas, Irish nationalists have taken another part of Cromwell’s story to weave into their story about many years of English oppression and the need to be free of it.  So, next year we will start the story of Cromwell – Ladybird version.  As in previous years, we will get to know a lot about his story.  We will then work out how his story has been used to weave other stories.  Our question will be about what parts of Cromwell’s story have been used since his death and why?  This needs more thought…  How do we also move to thinking about how the same parts of the Cromwell story can be used in different ways, for example?  Hoorah, the holidays are approaching and they are a great time for restoring creativity.  If you have good ideas and comments please share them too.  Merry Christmas to all readers!


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