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What topics would you like to see?


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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 04:13 PM

As a slightly different approach, perhaps we could also suggest topics that we'd like to see. This would enable those with expertise in particular areas to lead seminars on topics where people have a keenness to find out more.

Three I would like to see are:
  • How history teaching has changed over the last 20 years - for better or for worse?
  • Teaching AS / A2 / 16+ lessons effectively
  • Working effectively with other subjects



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#2 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 12:58 PM

Three I would like to see are:

  • How history teaching has changed over the last 20 years - for better or for worse?





  • Teaching AS / A2 / 16+ lessons effectively





  • Working effectively with other subjects

All good ideas.

I'd be interested in something about historiography in history teaching. The most interesting history lessons I teach every year do not take place in my history lessons, but in my ToK (IB Theory of Knowledge) lessons. It is only here that students really get a chance to reflect on what David Lowenthal once described as the 'epistemological fragility' of history. I have really enjoyed Keith Jenkins' provocative pieces in Teaching History and his ongoing debate with Richard J Evans. There are good books by John Warren now that we could use in the classroom, but precious few opportunities are provided by exam boards to do so. I find most 'source analysis' exercises intellectually moribund and a poor substitute for the sort of methodological reflection we could be encouraging amongst our students.

I'd also like to see the 'Teaching History in Spain' type of piece turned into a series. I'd love to read the views of a teacher with 30 years experience about changes in Russia or Eastern Europe. History teaching in the US would be fascinating and perhaps a little easier to organise?

Also, as I said in the other thread, I like to see a 'workshop' type session, pushing the possibilities of the forum as a practical training entity as well as a discussion board.
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#3 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 01:45 PM

I'd also like to see the 'Teaching History in Spain' type of piece turned into a series. I'd love to read the views of a teacher with 30 years experience about changes in Russia or Eastern Europe. History teaching in the US would be fascinating and perhaps a little easier to organise?

Just to pick up on the ideas Richard suggests (above) :
  • Teaching History in .......
    I've recently referred briefly in another thread (can't remember which!) to the fact that the school from which I have just retired had long-standing contacts with a school in Russia. Coincidentally a party from the Russian school is in the UK now and last w/e the teacher leading the group came over to visit several of us. Anyway she has raised the possibility of me going to teach History at her school in Perm for about 4 weeks possibly this autumn. I won't know until after her return to Russia whether this is more than a pipe dream, but if it does happen then ......
  • Teaching History in the USA
    This would be interesting and we have several Forum members who teach in the USA. I also have contacts with several other American History teachers and could invite them to participate if we wished.
  • 30 Years experience
    I have 30+ years teaching experience - but not certain that I'd feel confident (as an outsider) about talking of changes in Russia or Eastern Europe. Actually I'm not too sure what you're getting at here.
  • Historiography
    I'd be interested in that, but would it have a very wide appeal I wonder? It would, however, be very valuable for people preparing pupils for the A Level Extension paper as well as for IB TOK.
Regarding Andrew's suggestions. The latter 2 would be interesting. Not too sure about the point of the first?

#4 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:07 AM

Discussion about MS Excel yesterday got me thinking about how much I would like to use databases and spreadsheets in history lessons. One of our maths teachers proposed a joint project using census data this year. This ties in with Andrew's suggestion about cross-curricularity.

What about we invite non-historians to lead a seminar sometime? If we were able to get over each other's prejudices, based on what and how we were taught each other's subject at school, it could be interesting, particularly from a skills point of view: an Englich teacher's take on essay writing and teaching interpretation, a maths teacher on reliability and validity and (before anyone else adds it) a geography teacher on how to choose the right colour crayon...
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#5 Andrew Field

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 08:46 AM

What about we invite non-historians to lead a seminar sometime? If we were able to get over each other's prejudices, based on what and how we were taught each other's subject at school, it could be interesting, particularly from a skills point of view: an Englich teacher's take on essay writing and teaching interpretation, a maths teacher on reliability and validity and (before anyone else adds it) a geography teacher on how to choose the right colour crayon...

Yes - as long as it doesn't drift into an 'general online conference on education'. It does need to remain focused on history teaching. It would be very useful to get other subject experts' opinions on cross-curriculuar links and / or aspects of their subject for us as history teachers. I feel if we open the doors to general teaching topics then the area runs the risk of becoming unwieldy and out of its depth.

There are are many here who are not just history teachers.


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#6 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 09:25 AM

I am not uninterested in Richard's last suggestion (a Maths teacher's take on reliability etc), but would prefer to see these Seminars focussing more directly on History teaching. As Andrew says these could too easily drift off into general discussion about education and whilst such discussion is important I don't think this Forum is the best place for that.

Cross-curricular issues are important though so perhaps we could invite teachers from other subject areas to be 'guests' and to participate in particular seminars?
I have taken part in online 'conferences' elsewhere where this has (successfully) been done. So for example when discussing 'Literacy in History' several of us could invite English teachers from our own schools to participate in that Seminar.

I see that John Simkin has now added the proposed Timetable for the Autumn Term to this Forum (Seminar Timetable and Information thread) - thank you John - so we can all more easily see what the proposals are.

#7 Nichola Boughey

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 05:09 PM

[*]Working effectively with other subjects


I would love to read a seminar about working effectively with other subjects as I teach across 5 different subject areas - not through choice or eagerness!

Edited by Nichola Boughey, 31 July 2003 - 05:11 PM.


#8 Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:11 PM

Cross-curricular issues are important though so perhaps we could invite teachers from other subject areas to be 'guests' and to participate in particular seminars?

I appreciate concerns and this suggestion seems sensible. Perhaps the practical way into this is to have a seminar on a central skill in history: reliability and usefulness, essay writing, interpretations (Richard's in December? etc.) and invite non-historians to contribute. This could turn into a series of seminars with structured, common themes: what we understand by it (the skill under discussion), strategies for teaching it, resources for teaching it, methods of assessment etc.?

On a different point, now that we have published a second term of seminars I suppose the pressure is on us to stick to it as much as possible? I wonder (John?) how many seminar leaders are confirmed and ready to go on the ascribed topic and date, and how much flexibility we have? (esp. given the possibility of doing a Half-Baked seminar)
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#9 Andrew Field

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Posted 31 July 2003 - 07:16 PM

I wonder (John?) how many seminar leaders are confirmed and ready to go on the ascribed topic and date, and how much flexibility we have? (esp. given the possibility of doing a Half-Baked seminar)

You have as much flexibility as you like. The timetable published here is the one people should be referring to - those published elsewhere (e.g. Telegraph) can be updated with reference to ours. Our one always stated that it was the proposed timetable that could be adapted.

Part of this whole evaluation was to examine ways of improving / developing ideas relating to the seminar, so nothing is fixed. As a matter of courtesy it is important not to mess those people kind enough to offer their services about too much though - as long as the timetable is fixed within a few weeks time that will be fine.


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#10 Nichola Boughey

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Posted 10 August 2003 - 03:35 PM

It might be an idea to have a virtual online seminar using the new chat room facility that Andrew has set up!

Just a thought!

#11 Lesley Ann

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Posted 14 September 2003 - 06:08 PM

As a slightly different approach, perhaps we could also suggest topics that we'd like to see.  This would enable those with expertise in particular areas to lead seminars on topics where people have a keenness to find out more.

Looking through the new batch of INSET leaflets that have dropped in my pigeon hole advertising INSET costing oddles of ús.

I would like to see a seminar on:
Raising Attainment at Key Stage 3 & 4: Tried and tested methods.

Anyone out there willing?
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#12 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 14 September 2003 - 09:04 PM

I ran one on Raising attainment at KS4 last term.

#13 Lesley Ann

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Posted 14 September 2003 - 09:15 PM

Many apologies Dan. I never checked the full list. Most be having a senior moment.
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#14 Andrew Field

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Posted 14 September 2003 - 10:25 PM

I ran one on Raising attainment at KS4 last term.

... and what an expert Dan is - did you see his results? Blimey! I suspect those HMI hectors are coming to nick his ideas!


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#15 Lesley Ann

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 08:49 PM

I've checked the list this time ;)

How about a seminar on

1. OFSTED and the inspection of History - tips for success?

2. How to improve GCSE source skills - evaluation etc....
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