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Better History Group


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#1 Seb Phillips

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:09 PM

A non historian friend of mine has just posted something about ann organisation calling itselt the Better History group. It describes itself as:

'The Better History Group is a small ThinkTank of experienced history teachers and lecturers concerned to improve the current position and quality of history in the school curriculum.'

Wondered if anyone knew anything about them?

Their website is http://www.betterhistorygroup.com/

#2 Ed Podesta

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 05:02 AM

A non historian friend of mine has just posted something about ann organisation calling itselt the Better History group. It describes itself as:

'The Better History Group is a small ThinkTank of experienced history teachers and lecturers concerned to improve the current position and quality of history in the school curriculum.'

Wondered if anyone knew anything about them?

Their website is http://www.betterhistorygroup.com/


The proof of the pudding is in the eating of course, but given some members of the cast list - http://www.betterhis....com/?page_id=2, I'm <_< to say the least.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#3 Norman Pratt

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:34 PM

Richard Evans' article

http://www.lrb.co.uk...erfulness-of-us

has been referred to before, in relation to Michael Gove's plans for History, but it also has an interesting reference to the origins of this group:

"The current curriculum, its critics say, focuses too much on transmitting skills and not enough on teaching facts. The running here has been made by a self-appointed pressure group calling itself Better History, formed in 2006 to advise the Conservative shadow education team. The group, which is led by Seán Lang, a former schoolteacher, seems to have supplied Gove with many of his ideas – chief among them the notion that what most schoolchildren want from history is 'to find out what happened'. According to the Sunday Times, Gove has said that 'he wants school history teaching to place far more emphasis on factual knowledge, including the lives of kings and queens.'"

Edited by Norman Pratt, 30 July 2011 - 11:35 PM.


#4 Ed Podesta

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 05:09 AM

Richard Evans' article

http://www.lrb.co.uk...erfulness-of-us

what a brilliant article!

I'm a little bit in awe of Richard Evans. I'm doing a history course with the OU at the moment, and often find myself slipping in an Evans quote, no matter what the topic one often finds that he's said something interesting and usually wise about a related matter.

I loved this bit of the article:

When I started teaching history at university in the 1970s, many first-year students were incapable of critical reading of this kind. (I ran into trouble with one class when I began to point out the problems in the arguments put forward by one of the books I had set them to read. 'Why did you make us read it,' one of them complained, 'if you don't agree with it?')


"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

OneDamnThing.1.gif

 

Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#5 A Finemess

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:59 AM


Richard Evans' article

http://www.lrb.co.uk...erfulness-of-us

what a brilliant article!

I'm a little bit in awe of Richard Evans. I'm doing a history course with the OU at the moment, and often find myself slipping in an Evans quote, no matter what the topic one often finds that he's said something interesting and usually wise about a related matter.

I loved this bit of the article:

When I started teaching history at university in the 1970s, many first-year students were incapable of critical reading of this kind. (I ran into trouble with one class when I began to point out the problems in the arguments put forward by one of the books I had set them to read. 'Why did you make us read it,' one of them complained, 'if you don't agree with it?')


Political interference in the curriculum is becoming a serious problem. Up here, we have the "Curriculum for Excellence" which has the avowed aim of making our young people "Responsible Citizens". We have an SNP government which appears to want far greater emphasis on "Scottish" issues.
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
<img src="http://www.cyberium....lawrence-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /> Who said bikers can't be pretentious?

#6 Seb Phillips

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 08:47 PM

I should add - I was at a HA event last week where Simon Scharma was putting forward a case much like this - but I was left with the impression that he saw the need for skills to be taught too. There was also some discussion around the complexity of national identity. We don't really have a nation story, not exactly, not a single one. I'm here because a bunch of my ancesors were promised Saxon land by a bloke who didn't own it, and me mammy could make more in a Birmingham arms factory than staying at home in Dublin. Some other people are here because we needed bus conductors after the war. lot of my students are here because the EEC opened the borders and there was work for Polish plumbers. They have a VERY interesting take on the cold war, and our attitudes to Poland and the Baltic states.

So teachers have to be left with some scope for tailoring things to fit their class.




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