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GCSE History Teaching

Discussion in 'History' started by Sally1418, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Sally1418

    Sally1418 New commenter

    I am currently doing my PGCE and in lectures this week we have to discuss GCSE History Teaching and we have to specifically look at the problems associated with this. I have thought of a few reasons why there may be problems associated with GCSE teaching but also thought it would be interesting to hear from experienced teachers and what problems they think are relevant. Some of my ideas include:
    - The workload - pupils' may struggle if they are not well organised and have poor time management skills.
    - Course is based on detailed historical knowledge and understanding, some learners may find it difficult to absorb all of this information and may struggle if they have been used to more kinaesthetic and visual activities in key stage 3.
    - Coursework may be an issue with some pupils.'
    It would be great to hear some ideas from experienced teachers and what you have found during you teaching.

    Many thanks.
  2. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    I've found in interesting condundrum, in relation to your second point. In Year 9 we're going all out to encourage students to take History as an option with exciting lessons and creative activities, with a good level of success ... but of course teaching styles need to change somewhat for GCSE lessons as detailed knowledge is so important.

    Keeping students engaged if they aren't big readers/note-takers is problematic, but of course there are ways around this.

    The coursework issue technically isn't present anymore due to the switch to controlled assessment, but it still presents problems - either students work too much on it or they work too little!

    A very interesting point for the future is the switch back to non-modular courses when all content will be examined at the end of Year 11, coming into force next academic year for this year's Year 9s.
  3. Also - there is no option of a Foundation paper for GCSE History whereas, Geography, our main rival, does.
  4. Here are some problems I have teaching History (for 20 years)

    Huge mixed ability classes, but no tiered papers! I have classes that contain students from all 6 sets, with FFTD predicted grades ranging from F to A* all in the same class. All the boards have papers with high tariff questions that require long extended written answers demanding high literacy skills as well as extensive knowledge of complex topics!

    No in class support, even though we frequently have students with statemented needs.

    Rarely have anyone on SLT that has taught history so no sympathy!

    We make it hugely fun at KS3 so all pupils want to do it! (Our fault admittedly)

    There is no coursework anymore, it's controlled assessment and SLT want you to 'cheat'. We don't chose the controlled assessment topics so they are lovely ones like our latest:

    "To what extent was overproduction in farming and industry the main cause of the Wall Street Crash"

    To answer that kids need to know about isolationism, import tariffs, protectionism, etc.

    I could go on all night but the introduction of the ebacc is a huge headache since this leads to more pressure.

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