Developing approaches to teaching change and continuity

Nick Dennis, Felsted School Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

What does change and continuity mean?

What does change and continuity mean?
How things are different and how things have remained, both physically and psychologically. Students should look at the extent and pace of change. I would challenge the notion that change = progress, looking at what has changed leads to the why.
Tony Fox

What does change and continuity mean?
This is an area I don’t consciously tackle enough in my own teaching. The more I think about it though the more it seems to be one of those areas that is woven through others. Ed Podesta

What does change and continuity mean?
I feel it is key element of history teaching and yet it is one of the most difficult to address when in some courses it is lots of chunks of different periods or just one relatively short period.
Richard Woffenden

Shemilt’s Framework
Polythetic Narrative Frameworks Multidimensional Narratives Coherent Historical Narratives Chronologically Ordered Past

Chronologically Ordered Past
• Timelines with

landmark events.

Coherent Historical Narrative
Illustration by Cai Morris

cai_morri

‘thematic stories’ for the simple reason that it conveys that what we are dealing with is a construct or interpretation and that this story could be told di erently, depending on viewpoint or choice of content.6

A thematic story can be told in di erent levels of detail and across varying numbers of lessons. However it is critical Figure 2: The thematic story of power and democracy

that the whole story be tell-able in one lesson: a summary which enables pupils to see the whole story at once. Ideally, pupils will see this ‘big picture’ a number of times and use it to contextualize individual events.7 is story can then be ‘exploded’, taught across a term in the style of an SHP Study in Development or in chronological chunks across the whole of Key Stage 3.

Illustration by Cai Morris

cai_morris@hotmail.co.uk

• A ‘story’ and

not a ‘map’ of the past.

Teaching History 130

March 2008

The Historical Association

15

Multidimensional Narrative
• Includes political, economic and social
factors to the previous version.

Polythetic Narratives
• Where multiple narratives of the past are

presented and students can discuss the validity of each account in comparison with the next.

Shemilt’s Framework
Polythetic Narrative Frameworks Multidimensional Narratives Coherent Historical Narratives Chronologically Ordered Past

Shemilt’s Framework
Polythetic Narrative Frameworks Multidimensional Narratives Coherent Historical Narratives Chronologically Ordered Past

How?
• Limitation in terms of time - 2 lessons
maximum

• Limitation in terms of subject International History!

The Twenty Years’ Crisis

The main feature of the crisis of the twenty years between 1919 and 1939 was the move from hope in the first ten years to grim despair in the second.

Prior Knowledge
Empire First World War Versailles

Is Carr right?
Carr’s view of International Relations

Crisis! Ok, but... Calm
1919 1939

10

5

0

Hope
Carr’s view

Despair

The rule of nationstates
You want your country to be as great and powerful as possible!

What is a crisis?

• A time of intense difficulty, trouble and
danger.

Activity
• Arrange yourself into colours and then into
chronological order.

• Then place events according to crisis rating.

Questions
• What has changed? • What has stayed the same? • When was there a rapid change? • When did change happen slowly? • Is there an event that seems to change
everything else after it? Is it a ‘turning point’?

Economics

Politics

Role of the individual

Activity 2
• See if you can trace these themes on the

graph. Do they change your opinion about the ‘Twenty Years’ Crisis’?

Timeline using 3D Timeline from Beedocs.com. It shows events and themes.

Future improvements

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonivc/2283676770/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/churl/1795203061/, http:// www.flickr.com/photos/polvero/3489314555/

schoolhistory.co.uk/ forum

http://bit.ly/CqzNU

www.nickdennis.com