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Teaching Emotive and Controversial History

Teaching Emotive and Controversial History

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The touchy-feely, don't-offend-anyone approach. A report from The Historical Association.
The touchy-feely, don't-offend-anyone approach. A report from The Historical Association.

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Published by: Charters and Caldecott on Aug 22, 2012
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01/15/2013

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Teaching Emotive andControversial History 3-19
A Report rom The Historical Association onthe Challenges and Opportunities or TeachingEmotive and Controversial History 3-19
 
Teaching emotive and controversial history 3-19
The Historical Association
 
A Report rom The Historical Association on theChallenges and Opportunities or Teaching Emotiveand Controversial History 3-19
 1345678
Contents Page
Anintroductionproviding3contextanddenitionAnexecutivesummaryothe4keyndingsandrecommendationsTecurrentcontextwiththescopeo7addressingtheteachingoemotiveandcontroversialissuesgenerallyacrossthe3–19agerangeandspecicallyateachkeystageTecurrentconstraintsthatinhibit14theteachingandlearningoemotiveandcontroversialhistory Tekeycharacteristicsandexamples19oeectivepracticewithregardtoteachingandlearningwithacasestudyoreachkeystageFourcasestudiesromexpertson37thelatesthistoricalthinkingandissuesrelatedtoareasocontroversy Recommendationsordeveloping41practice;someareshorttermandotherslongerterm,someprimarilyaimedatteachersandschools,andothersaimedatotherstakeholdersAcknowledgements46
 
The Historical Association
Teaching emotive and controversial history 3-19
 
3
 
Terewasalsoanacceptancethatemotion,sensitivityandcontroversycanbeaectedbytime,geographyandawareness.Forexample,anissueorpersoncouldhavebeenextremelyemotiveandcontroversialatthetime,butnolongerhassucharesonance,orthatsomethingmaybeeltmuchmorestronglyinsomeplacesandamongsomegroupsorindividualsthanothers,orthereareissuesthatcontinueornowhavecontemporarysignicanceorpersonalresonance.Likewise,thestrengthoeelingaboutcertainissuescanbeaectedbytheageothestudents.Tustherearehistoricalissuesthat,atthetime,arousedstrongemotionsandweresubjectsogreatcontroversy.Simultaneously,thereareissuesthatareemotiveandcontroversialbecausetheycontinuetohavegeneralcontemporarysignicanceorpersonalresonanceorstudents.Teagreeddenitionbythosepresentthathasdirectedmuchothereportisasollows:
Te study of history can be emotive and controversial where there is actual or perceived unfairness to people by another individual or group in the past.Tis may also be the case where there are disparitiesbetween what is taught in school history, family/ community histories and other histories. Suchissues and disparities create a strong resonance withstudents in particular educational settings.
Tisreportisseenasthestart,ratherthantheendoanimportantprocess.Muchmoreresearchisneededthanwaspossibleorthisproject.Noristhecurriculumstatic.Tecontextischangingandthisdebatewillneedtoembraceuturechanges.Ihistoryteachingistohelpplayakeyroleinhelpingyoungpeopleunderstandthecomplexityandbackgroundtotheworldinwhichtheyaregrowingupin,muchbetterresourceswillneedtobebothproducedandsignposted,andteachersmademoreawareoexamplesogoodandeectivepractice.Plansarealreadyinplacetoexpandthecasestudiesandreerencestoresources,particularlythroughelectronicmeans.Agoodreportalsogenerateseedbackandideas.Itistheintentionotheauthorsothe.E.A.C.H.projectthatthewidercommunitywillrespondtothepointsraisedinaconstructiveandpositiveway,drawingattentiontogoodpracticeandhowtheseissuesarebeing,orcouldbe,addressedinaneectiveway.TeHistoricalAssociationwanttoencouragethisongoingactivity.DetailsohowthiscanbedoneareprovidedintheAppendix.TispublicationistheresultoresearchcarriedoutbyTeHistoricalAssociationandsupportedbyagrantromtheDepartmentorEducationandSkills.Teprojecthasbeenentitled.E.A.C.H.(eachingEmotiveandControversialHistory)andcoversthe3–19agerange.TeNationalCurriculumorHistoryandGCSEandAS/A2specicationsoentouchonsocial,cultural,religiousandethnicaultlineswithinandbeyondBritain.Apremiseatthestartotheprojectwasthatmanyteachersoenavoidedcontroversyintheclassroomwhenocusedonhistory.Atthesametime,thereiswidespreadrecognitionthatthewaymanypasteventsareperceivedandunderstoodcanstiremotionsandcontroversywithinandacrosscommunities.TeproposalsthatwereputbeoretheDESenvisagedresearchingtheopportunities,constraintsandcasestudiesoeectivepracticeacrossallkeystages.TeproposalswereacceptedinSpring2006andasteeringgroupothreesetuptoplanandoverseetheproject.Tebasicstructureothe.E.A.C.H.projectwas:torecruitveexperiencedresearchers,oneoreachoKeyStages1–4andoneorpost-16toinvestigatecurrentpractice,particularlytheopportunitiesandscopeoraddressingsuchissuesthroughschoolhistory,aswellastoseekexamplesoeectivepractice;toholdthreeweekendsinCambridgeshire(inJune,OctoberandDecember2006),bringingtogetherthesteeringgroup,researchersandthosewithexpertiseinteachingsuchissues.Terewereopportunitiesattheseweekendstohearromandquestionthoseteachinghistoryinschoolswithdierentethnicmixes;toproduceanalreportbyEaster2007.TisreportwouldbedistributedinhardcopytoallmembersoTeHistoricalAssociation,aswellasplacedontheopenpartoitswebsite.Oneotherstissuesthatneededtobeaddressedwasaworkingdenitionowhatconstitutedanemotiveorsensitiveissueinhistory.Tiswaswidelydebatedattherstweekend.Tedenitionitselgeneratedemotionandcontroversy,butitwasavitalrststepinkeeping.E.A.C.H.manageableandconsistent.Itwasrecognisedromtheoutsetthatonepersonsacceptancemightbeanother’scontroversyandthatsensitivitywasrelative.
Introduction
 1

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