All 37 entries tagged Teaching Methods

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May 22, 2011

After the History Subject Centre

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The History Subject Centre will officially close on 31st October, although effectively most activities will cease by the end of July. Sarah Richardson has written a briefing report, After the History Subject Centre, which outlines the support that will be available for HE History once the subject centre has closed. There are also details of activities and services the History community have found most valuable and recommendations on how these may be continued in the future.

Please join in the conversation!

March 28, 2011

History Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Newsletter published

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The Spring 2011 edition of the History SoTL Newsletter is now online.  Please follow the link below (or paste it into the address bar of your web browser) for the newsletter.
Features include reports on two SoTL conferences, a report on SoTL in Moldova by Svetlana Suveica, a report on numeracy from Geogg Timmins et al., and a report on historical thinking in higher education in Australia by Adele Nye.

March 13, 2011

OFSTED publishes review of History teaching in schools

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Ofsted has published its review of History teaching in schools based on inspections from 2007-10. The picture is generally a positive one, particularly in secondary schools, with good teaching and rising attainment.

However there are some concerns for Higher Education. The number of Academies teaching History beyond Key Stage 3 is declining whilst 48 per cent of pupils in Independent Schools study the subject beyond the age of 14. Reliance on text books (often published by the examination boards) is also noted as an issue. The key recommendations for secondary school history teaching were to: 

  • ensure that pupils have a greater understanding of the history of the interrelationships of the different countries which comprise the British Isles
  • ensure that technology is exploited to best effect in the teaching and learning of history
  • ensure that sixth form history students read widely in preparation for the demands of higher education.

March 07, 2011

High Achieving Graduates of History

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The work of the government and our subject community is increasingly concentrating on enabling students to fulfil their potential during and after their studies.  The aim of the projects within 'History Graduates with Impact'is to highlight and evidence the 'value' of studying history and some of the developments in the UK.

As part of the research into 'Graduates with Impact', the Subject Centre (along with the English and Philosophical and Religious Studies Subject Centres) conducted a search of history (and wider humanities) alumni.  The result is a database of alumni who have progressed into positions of note and interest.  Findings from the database will be used in David Nicholl's forthcoming update to his 2005 work on 'The Employment of History Graduates', but we have also made the fill datasets available to the wider community on our website ... to encourage discussion with prospective students.

A publication of case studies, surveys and reports on 'History Graduates with Impact' will be available in July, in the meantime, please visit the project website for more details:

February 09, 2011

History and the National Curriculum

In order to allay concerns about the forthcoming review of the National Curriculum and its relationship to teaching in schools, the Historical Association have issued the following statement:

The National Curriculum Review and History

In January the Secretary of State for Education announced a review of the National Curriculum in England, which includes a review of history. There have been many reports and rumours about the content and format for the revised history curriculum. The Historical Association (HA) would like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion, explain what will be happening over the coming months, and explain what it is doing at this time.

Clearing up confusion

In the first instance, the HA would like to reassure teachers in both primary and secondary schools that no decision has been made about the content or structure of history in the curriculum. Press reports which suggest otherwise are mistaken. Many individuals and organisations have expressed views on the nature of history in the curriculum as it stands and as they wish it to be. Some of these ideas and submissions to the government have been reported as though they represent the shape of the new History National Curriculum. This is not the case.

What is happening at this time?

The Secretary of State has published a Call for Evidence as ‘Phase 1’ of a public consultation on the curriculum as a whole and on individual subjects. With specific regard to history, the Call asks all interested parties (including teachers) to comment on:

·  Should history continue to be a National Curriculum subject at Key Stages 1-3, and should it be compulsory at Key Stage 4?

·  Should schools be able to determine what is taught – if so, in which Key Stages?

·  Should the National Curriculum specify levels of achievement / attainment targets – or are there more suitable alternative approaches?

·  How should the curriculum and targets be defined to ensure appropriate education for learners of all abilities and needs?

·  How should particular knowledge best be sequenced within the National Curriculum?

·  What are the most important factors to consider in developing a National Curriculum to ensure smooth transition between the key stages?

What about specified content?

The Call for Evidence has not asked for anyone to comment on what exactly should be taught in the history National Curriculum. Work on programmes of study will not begin until ‘Phase 1’ has been concluded, and they will be subject to further, wide consultation. This consultation is due to start in Spring 2012 until Spring 2013. Therefore, new programmes of study for history will not be ready for teaching until September 2014. Professor Simon Schama has been appointed by the Secretary of State to lead this element of the consultation. He has been tasked with consulting widely with teachers and academic historians to establish the ‘core’ content for the curriculum - around this core teachers will have great flexibility about what else to teach. Simon Schama will be joined on this history review by Professor David Cannadine and Professor Niall Ferguson.

What is the Historical Association doing?

We see it as our duty to contribute to the Call for Evidence to give a voice to the 6000+ teachers, academics and lay people who are our members, so at the moment the primary and secondary committees are working together to complete a draft submission. Our submission starts with our core mission: to make sure that young people are able to enjoy a rounded and rigorous historical education throughout primary and secondary school.

What do you need to do?

We cannot complete the submission without your help because we want to make sure that your voice is heard. The HA document will be published to you before being submitted to the Secretary of State. Please send us your comments to make sure that we accurately reflect the position of history teaching today and how it should develop in the future. Whilst this may be a time of uncertainty, it also represents a tremendous opportunity to secure the place of History in the curriculum.

If you would like to get in touch in the meantime with your views or comments (particularly on the areas for comment bulleted above), please email:

JISC TechDis subject and library survey – experiences in obtaining alternative formats

Do you have experience of working with publishers to source or produce accessible texts for your students? 

JISC TechDis are seeking to produce a summary of publisher responsiveness to requests for alternative and/or accessible texts on a subject by subject basis.  Students with accessibility needs can benefit enormously from the provision of an online version.

The summary aims to:

  1. Advise subject communities on the best publishers in their subject areas in terms either providing texts in accessible format at source (e.g. accessible e-book platforms), or supporting requests for alternative formats of hard copy books.
  2. Provide early feedback to publishers commended for their accessibility awareness.
  3. Identify problem publishers.  These will be approached (in partnership with intermediaries and peers within the industry) to give them feedback, make them aware of the issues and point them to advice and guidance from the Right to Read Alliance and the publishing industry.

Further details can be found in this pdf from TechDis subjectcentresurvey.doc.  The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and is available at:  

January 19, 2011

Call for Proposals: King James in the Curriculum

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King James in the Curriculum: Biblical Literacy in 2011 (25th - 28th May 2011, Sheffield)
A conference for educators, lecturers and researchers.

The world's best-selling book, the Bible has had a huge impact on fields as diverse as history, politics, philosophy, and art. Novels, poetry, and music have all been inspired by, and drawn on, the rich legacy of the Bible. No translation has had such great influence as the King James or Authorized Version. In the words of one prominent intellectual, "not to know the King James Bible, is to be in some small way, barbarian" (Richard Dawkins, interview with the 2011 Trust). Yet it is one thing to acknowledge the place of the Bible in shaping our culture, and quite another to tackle the growing ignorance of its contents.

400 years on from the King James Bible, this conference aims to address a particular and timely question: "What is the role of the Bible in today's classroom?"

Biblical literacy may be on the wane, but the Bible's influence on our culture is not. It is present in our politics and poetry, our newspapers and everyday communication.  The conference will include opportunities for discussion, debate and constructive consideration of how to address the decline in biblical awareness and the effect this has on students' understanding of culture, history and society.

If you would like to propose a paper or workshop, please visit Monday, 24th January 2011.

January 17, 2011

Quality Enhancement Work in Wales

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The HEA in Wales is currently leading work to coordinate activity in the Welsh sector to enhance specific areas of learning and teaching in HE at the request of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). This joint approach will lead to greater benefits for students as a result of both universities and sector organisations working together to enhance students' learning experiences.

A new enhancement theme - Graduates for our future - has been identified for higher education institutions and sector orgnisations in Wales to focus their learning and teaching activities. Three work-strands will sit under this theme:

  1. Students as partners;
  2. Learning in employment;
  3. Learning for employment.

More information about the work can be found at:

Change Academy 2011: Call for proposals

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It is clear that higher education is facing a challenging future, with reduced public funding, an increased focus on enhancing the student learning experience and an even greater emphasis on organisational effectiveness. Change Academy is your opportunity to approach these challenges in an imaginative and creative way. Organised in partnership between the Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Change Academy is a year-long process that includes specific development opportunities for nominated team leaders, an ongoing support network and a four-day residential. It provides a creative environment in which the whole team can focus on planning and developing strategies for lasting change.

The deadline for proposals for the 2011 Change Academy is Thursday 3 March 2011. To find out more, please contact the Change Academy team (01904 717500 or or visit our website, which includes video commentaries from 2010 participants. If you would like to discuss potential change project ideas with one of the programme directors, please contact Steve Outram (07976 132804) or Lesly Huxley (07977 457949).

December 02, 2010

1000th Review in History published by the Institute for Historical Research

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Reviews in History publishes its 1,000th review

Reviews in History, the online journal of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), publishes its 1,000th review today.

Launched in 1996, Reviews covers books and digital resources across every area of historical interest, with all reviews being undertaken by leading experts in the field. It has always been noted for its broad scope, chronologically, geographically and thematically. It now publishes a new issue every week on its recently redesigned website (, each featuring four original reviews.

From the start, the journal has published reviews of greater length than those usually found in scholarly periodicals (between 2,000 and 3,000 words), and as a consequence of its digital-only format has also been able to make them available much earlier.

Reviews also allows authors and editors a right of reply, stimulating discussion and providing readers with an insight into the major debates occurring at the cutting edge of historical research.

The reviews are freely available and enjoy a large and growing readership, from academics to the wider public interested in history. They provide an invaluable resource for researching, teaching and studying history at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In recent months particular effort has been made to focus on the expanding number of digital resources in history, with reviews being commissioned to examine not just the content but the functionality and operability of these tools now transforming the historian’s craft.

Initially funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in 1996, Reviews is now supported by IHR core funding, reflecting its centrality to the Institute’s research facilitation remit. It is a striking example of external seed-corn funding leading to long-term sustainability in the digital sphere.

This week’s special ‘1,000’ issue features Gary Magee and Andrew Thompson’s Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850–1914, reviewed by Stuart Ward, and Elizabeth Tilley’s take on The Punch Brotherhood: Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London by Patrick Leary. Two major new digital resources, The Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842–2003 and London Lives 1690–1800, are also reviewed, by Peter Sinnema and Ben Heller respectively.

Dr Jane Winters, Head of Publications at the IHR, said: 'Reviews in History was a truly innovative digital publishing initiative when it was launched in 1996 and there is still nothing quite like it in the field. It enshrined the authorial right to reply more than a decade before humanities researchers began seriously to challenge traditional forms of peer review in the digital environment, and made full use of the flexibility of the digital medium. The journal is a central element of the IHR's publishing programme, and we very much look forward to the publication of the next 1,000 reviews. If Reviews continues as it has developed thus far, the 2,000th article may well look very different.'

For more information about Reviews contact Danny Millum, Deputy Editor at




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