“Study the historian before you begin to study the facts.”
― Edward Hallett Carr, What Is History?
E.H.Carr’s advice ‘study the historian’ first suggests that by recognising bias, using empathy, acknowledging causes and consequences related to the ‘reporter’ will lead to a better understanding of the facts they are reporting. Which leads to a teaching conundrum.
If history was merely a consideration of facts it would be a very easy subject to teach and perhaps of little relevance to the future. However, it would be very easy to evidence a ‘lot’ of learning with quizzes, spot tests and recital of lists of facts.
Where history is a consideration of what happened and why; with an appreciation of the evidence’s bias it has the means to inform future behaviour, and potentially becomes a trickier subject to teach. Evidencing learning is also harder as the amount of teaching time needing to develop understanding is massive in comparison to learning a set of facts. Additionally the trail mapping the learning route is likely to be less paper based, more scrappy and harder for an observer at the end to understand.
Recognising most primary phase teachers are not history specialists and children’s abilities and development vary so much these training days are designed to look at how a particular historical skill might be taught through the primary school phase. With one exception, each day focuses on looking at ways learner’s can be helped to develop a particular historical skill; with attention as to how activities can be tweaked to suit different abilities and ages.
If by chance you would love to come on a training day and the dates or themes don’t suit consider booking a 1:1 or small group session. These can be more closely tailored to your needs. Costs are similar to a booking a character visit.