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History Subject Knowledge

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by BlueOctopus, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. BlueOctopus

    BlueOctopus New commenter

    Good Afternoon,

    I am due to start a Secondary History School Direct course in September.

    I have been given a list of topics that I will be teaching and unfortunately a good third of it I am unfamiliar with.

    I studied 20th Century history for my degree and am very confident in that, the World Wars, Rise and Fall of Communism etc.

    I wondered if anybody could point me in the direction of any books that would help me with my missing knowledge.

    My particular problems are Vikings and Saxons, Normans and the industrial revolution (for year 7).

    Although I am confident with the rest of what I have been sent any recommendations for teaching history would be great. The only book I have been told to buy is "Learning to Teach History in the Secondary School"

    I have been a cover supervisor for a few years now so I am not worried about behaviour management just upping my subject knowledge.

    Thank you
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Well, start with the core texts. Maybe core texts for GCSE. Don't feel you have to be degree level on things you are teaching KS3. You need to know enough to teach. The rest falls into place.

    Don't be blasé about behaviour management. Management as a teacher is far different from the expectations of a CS.
    BlueOctopus likes this.
  3. BlueOctopus

    BlueOctopus New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, I am actually OK with the GCSE Spec as I have already bought the core text and am familiar with most of it.

    It is interesting that you say behaviour management is different for a teacher, I have been told that by teachers at the schools I have worked at. In contrast to you however those who have made the move have said that it makes it much easier as I am used to following the policy to the letter and that the children have a tendency to wind up cover staff as they aren't "proper teachers".

    What is it that you feel makes it more difficult? I know I will have to ensure progress is being made rather than just work being completed. But that isn't what I consider behaviour management or am I missing something obvious. I expect I am I know that learning to teach is a steep learning curve.

    Please don't think I am being argumentative or cocky but I really had put it out of my mind as a concern as I have been told by many people that I won't have a problem there.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I made the same move.

    You got the nail on the head, but don't realise it. You need to ensure progress, not just get the work done/ keep them occupied. The higher expectations do feed into behaviour management.

    I am not saying it is more difficult. But managing your classes is different than managing a class as cover.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    With the gcse thing, what I mean is look for a gcse text (old syllabus maybe) to guide subject knowledge for KS3. Ensures you are ahead of them, but isn't too onerous considering you have 7-8 weeks and a few areas to cover.
  6. Sian2305

    Sian2305 New commenter

    What textbooks are the students using? Have you got copies of them?

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Don't worry about subject knowledge. Seriously. It's a very common mistake to think you need to know everything in order to teach history. In fact, some of the most successful teachers have quite limited knowledge. They just focus on teaching really good lessons where the children get to do lots of finding out for themselves. Some of the worst history teachers know the most and just tell the kids things all the time.

    Go down to your local library, pick a bean bag in the children's section and read some of the children's history books on Saxons, Industrial Revolution etc. You'll soon see the level you need to be thinking about.
    emerald52 likes this.
  8. oHelzo

    oHelzo Occasional commenter

    This is a great idea! I used Horrible Science books as a great resource for fun scenarios when teaching and could adapt ideas right up to GCSE. For example, we did a lesson on Galileo and his findings when looking at the universe, but following him as a person also showed his human side and that appealed to some of those not fans of 'traditional' science.

    I am sure excerpts and from Horrible Histories will be right up their street.
  9. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    The Historical Association is worth a look. Some useful free stuff, some more detailed resources if you join
    sabrinakat likes this.
  10. starmandave

    starmandave New commenter

    Invite a Knight brings history to life, with a visit from a medieval knight (Viking, Saxon or Norman & Crusader) to your school. The knight in full period armour with tell tales, add colour and the WOW factor to any History lesson (of the period) and dispel many myths.
    Our Knight also has time for a Q&A session as part of the 1hr (or lesson length) session.
  11. htaylor16

    htaylor16 New commenter

    Get hold of your schools KS3 text book, you’ll be surprised at how little you need to know to teach it. All my knowledge has been built up just be teaching it and being on step ahead of the students. If a student asks a question you don’t know the answer to be honest and ask them to find out for you before the next lesson. You’ll be surprised at how often the forget

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