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New National Curriculum

Discussion in 'History' started by dasboy, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

  2. This is such an important issue on so many levels. ThAnk you tafcam. Primary and secondary colleagues. Red to unite on this . The new history curriculum has is appalling - and so are some of the responses to it! So far:
    "Well primary history is too wishy washy anyway"
    " How can those non specialists in Ks2 possibly teach this?"
    "We haven't got time to fit it all in."
    " Boo hoo .We don't have the right text books"
    None of these address the real pedagogical issues . I try not to get offended easily, but I am a good teacher . Contrary to some of the comments above. I do not teach history -"just because it fits in with topic" . Some of it has to be taught discretely - but by far the most successful teaching I do is when history is at the heart of a well planned cross curricular topic . When I did the Victorians recently the children asked if we counld carry on after Christmas. In literacy, we read a range of fiction, including Dickens and used the biography unit to explore the lives of Brunel , Nightingale, Dickens using a whole range of resources, perspectives and approaches ( not a text book in sight) . It was not all about "writing a letter from a chimney sweep either". We looked at the poor laws, education laws, end of slavery, scientific and technological developments during this period ( also looked at the Olympic Opening ceremony and how the portrayal of Brunel compared to other sources) . I could go on ... But my point is... All the time the children the children were gaining knowledge and using skills. I could not have developed these skills and would not have had the pleasure of working with interested and motivated children , had my KS1 colleagues not got the ball rolling .We are all in this together- let's not turn inwards- that is what the government wants - they want workers to hate those on benefits, communities to hate immigrants etc -
    None of my ranting is aimed at anyone in particular and especially not at tafcam.
  3. bonkers 704

    bonkers 704 Lead commenter

    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Statement on the Draft National
    Curriculum for History</font>[/b]

    As representatives of the principal organizations
    for historians in the UK, we would like to</font>

    respond to the publication of the draft Programmes
    of Study for History in the national</font>

    curriculum released by the Department for Education
    on 7 February 2013. We want to voice</font>

    significant reservations both about the content of
    the Programmes of Study which have been</font>

    proposed, and about the process by which the
    Programmes have been devised.</font>

    First, we believe that the Programmes of Study are
    far too narrowly and exclusively focused on</font>

    British history to serve the needs of children
    growing up in the world today. History is of course</font>

    an important and necessary tool for teaching future
    citizens about the making of their localities</font>

    and nations. But it is not only that &ndash; it is also
    the treasure-house of human experience across</font>

    millennia and around the world. Students should learn
    about British history: but knowledge of the</font>

    history of other cultures (and not only as they have
    been encountered through their interactions</font>

    with the British Isles) is as vital as knowledge of
    foreign languages to enable British citizens to</font>

    understand the full variety and diversity of human
    life. The narrowness of the Programmes</font>

    deprives children, many of whom will not continue
    with the study of History beyond the national</font>

    curriculum, of the vast bulk of the precious
    inheritance of the past.</font>

    Secondly, we welcome the inclusion within the
    Programmes of Study of topics concerned with</font>

    social, economic and cultural history. Students
    should certainly be taught political history; but</font>

    they should also be taught the histories of
    economies, societies, ideas, beliefs and cultures. As the</font>

    writings of historians over the past hundred years
    have eloquently demonstrated, it is in any case</font>

    impossible properly to understand political history
    without an appreciation of these other</font>

    histories. It might still be debated whether the
    specifications set out in the Programmes of Study</font>

    have yet found the ideal balance between political
    history and other aspects of the past, not least</font>

    in relation to conveying to students a proper
    appreciation of what the discipline of History now</font>

    encompasses. This is especially important with
    reference to how the subject is studied and taught</font>

    in the higher level qualifications delivered in both
    schools and universities for which these</font>

    programmes of study must in part be seen as
    preparation (a point of equal relevance in</font>

    consideration of the concentration on British

    Thirdly, we regret that the construction of the
    Programme in a strictly chronological sequence</font>

    from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 ensures that many
    students will not be properly exposed to the</font>

    exciting and intellectually demanding study of
    pre-modern history other than in the very earliest</font>

    stages of their studies. This risks promoting even
    if only inadvertently the naive assumption that</font>

    human society and culture become more sophisticated
    and complex through time, and also</font>

    potentially encourages students and teachers to
    neglect pre-modern history as they move on to</font>

    We recognize that there are limits to the capacity
    of a curriculum to encompass all desiderata, and</font>

    that a balance must be struck between ambition and
    practicality. It is partly for this reason that we</font>

    also regret the way in which the curriculum was
    drafted. Despite much interesting debate in the</font>

    media about the future of the curriculum, and
    especially the History curriculum, in the early days</font>

    of the current government, the details of the
    curriculum have been drafted inside the Department</font>

    for Education without any systematic consultation or
    public discussion with historians, teachers</font>

    or the wider public. The contrast with the practice
    of the Conservative government of the late</font>

    1980s when it drafted the first national curriculum
    is striking. Then, a History Working Group</font>

    including teachers, educational experts and
    academics worked in tandem with the ministry of the</font>

    day to produce first an interim report and than a
    final report in the midst of much public</font>

    discussion. The curriculum that resulted was widely
    supported across many professional and</font>

    political divisions in the teaching and academic
    professions and by the general public. The current</font>

    government was certainly right to feel that after
    many interim changes it was time for a fresh</font>

    look. Unfortunately, it has not attempted to
    assemble the same kind of consensus, and as a result</font>

    it has produced a draft curriculum which it can be
    argued could still benefit from extensive</font>

    discussion about how to ensure that it best serves
    both good practice and the public interest.</font>

    Rather than find ourselves cast necessarily in the
    role of critics, we would welcome an</font>

    opportunity to engage constructively with the
    government in fashioning Programmes of Study</font>

    which could seek to deliver outcomes equally
    acceptable to politicians, working historians, the</font>

    public at large and above all students, their
    teachers and parents.</font>

    Professor David D&rsquo;Avray, Chair, Medieval Studies
    Section, British Academy</font>

    Professor Jackie Eales, President, Historical

    Professor Mary Fulbrook, Chair, Modern History
    Section, British Academy</font>

    Professor Peter Mandler, President, Royal Historical

    Professor Hamish Scott, Chair, Early Modern History
    Section, British Academy</font>

    February 2013

    Everyone should see this, the HA's response to the Draft Proposals.
  4. Schools will have to do this IF it goes ahead. Do you think that Ofsted obsessed heads would allow history departments to continue with the old curriculum? There is NO room for token changes: the shift in content at KS3 is massive.
    Books will already be in development and will be rushed out, complete with mistakes, dull and duff activites and very little actual inspiration. But they will cost. About &pound;15 each, usually, and then that's one per year group, so &pound;45 for KS3. We need 3 class sets per year minimum, due to blocked classes, so 30 x 3 x 45. So &pound;4000. For now. Just for texts. For most subjects. In every school. Then other resources to try to jazz it up and keep the kids awake. Have a go at the maths, and remember which of Gove's pals run Pearson. It's called a nice little earner, and not something we can afford to ignore....
  5. zugthebug

    zugthebug New commenter

    You will also find that primary colleagues have built their own resources, often paying for them personally as there is little budget available for subject resources. We have honed the cross learning opportunities to ensure that both knowledge and skills are developed. Literacy objectives are expected to be in evidence in history and one of the elements ofsted looks for is that the writing attainment matches across subjects and not just in 'english' lessons.
  6. Sorry, nothing personal but you lost my respect with your Greeeeeeaaaat Tony the Tiger opening line. Others have started to unpick your argument in more detail so I will simply add a few comments from my own experience as a long standing primary (and more recently) living history teacher, beginning with the response that the primary element in the draft is at the least dull, dull and thrice dull, and this is without the total disparity between the content matter/breadth and the children's capability for learning in KS1 and 2.

    The crux of our role in primary is not just to teach but to create a foundation of enthusiasm for history that will last long into the more detailed analysis of social, political and cultural aspects that will gradually seep in as they progress through the education system, and this is almost impossible with the majority of this proposed material.

    In addition, let's also talk about the lost primary content. For this read, WWII, Victorians and Ancient Egyptians. If Michael Gove was asked by Jim Bowen to aim his 'Arrers' at the three most popular primary history topics for both teachers and pupils he would have surely hit these and taken home a pot Bully. For the removal of the WWII topic alone, with the genuine family connections pupils are able to make with the experiences of their recent ancestors, this curriculum should be most severely opposed. Add to this the fact that pupils will not, under this ridiculous (strangely otherwise) nationalistic historical narrative, learn anything about WWII until they are 14 years of age and Michael Gove should hang his head in shame for betraying the sacrifice of every person who gave their lives in return for his freedom.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Here's a considered, but angry, response from the Historical Association:
    We have a number of serious concerns regarding the content and approach to history teaching taken in this document.
    • It
      completely fails to recognise that history is an intellectual
      discipline underpinned by a rigorous conceptual framework and fails to
      give any guidance on how the academic skills of history should be
    • The Purpose of Study statement is inadequate and the aims do not reflect the content.
    • The
      content is heavily prescriptive and shows little evidence that any
      meaningful thought has gone into selection; indeed some decisions seem
      quite arbitrary and even bizarre. Attempting to teach such a content
      heavy curriculum will lead to little more than a superficial
      recollection of names and dates.
    • The content of the draft
      Programmes of Study are far too narrow in their focus on British
      political history. References to women and diverse ethnic groups are
      clearly tokenistic. Nods to social, economic and cultural history are
    • The decision to include all ancient, medieval and early
      modern history in the curriculum for 7 to 11 years olds makes little
      sense and will leave young people with a simplistic understanding of
      past societies. Secondary teachers will, inevitably, be left trying to
      plug gaping holes in pupils' understanding.
    • The resourcing and
      training implications are enormous. There are no resources to cover much
      of the content for primary pupils, primary teachers are largely
      non-specialist, secondary teachers would need to scrap many of their
      existing resources and completely re-write their schemes of work.
    • The
      authors of this curriculum have completely failed to understand what
      progression in history might mean or how a good grasp of chronology can
      be developed.
    More than twenty years of thoughtful and
    sophisticated approaches to curriculum development have been thrown away
    in this document. Let's not lose all the rigour developed by history
    teachers and let's not take all the joy out of learning history!

    This is also a good response;

  8. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

  9. hec


    [​IMG] Much enjoyed this post, and Goves political interference in history content taught in schools has crossed a democratic line. Ironically his version of the national narrative is supposed to teach all about progress to democracy and a fair society, which is why he was never going to exclude Mary Seacole
  10. Sorry. Not relying to anything specific - just don't know how tp Post an independent comment.

    I too was horrified when I saw the proposals- for all of the reasons mentioned previously.

    It makes me grateful that we are converting to an academy and adopting the international middle years curriculum - but maybe that's the point.......

    I would be gutted to lose out on teaching Middle Ages and renaissance to KS3. It is so much fun and all my year 7s come to us with a love for history.
  11. It is pointless contributing to this thread when you get attacked on a personal level for offering a opposing view point. Anyone who finds something positive in the proposal is deemed unqualified to comment. I hope bully boy folk fan feels proud of his little victory.
  12. And that is the point, surely, to force schools into privatisation. Same old tories. making money from taxpayer funded services.
    It all links up beautifully, so can we all please pact to vote them out while we still have some element of a caring society left..????[​IMG]
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    ... and vote for who? No the lot who brought us the illegal Iraq war, surely? Nor the scum who reneged on their promises re: student loans?
  14. Are you for real? I seriously thought your post was ironic and sarcastic to begin with, but as I read on it became obvious that you are serious. Have you read the proposals for history at KS1 and 2? Have you ever taught 5, 6 or 7 year olds? Gove's proposals would be hilariously funny if they weren't so utterly, appallingly misguided and lacking in any understanding of what Primary school aged children are like. Maybe he would like to do a demonstration lesson in 'nations, civilisation and monarchy' to a class of Year 1 children so that we can see how it should be done.
    There is a facebook page called 'Save School History' - please like it to show support.
  15. Maybe you could set up a perfect, flawless policitcal party? I wa sjust hoping for something slightly right of Stalin and slightly left of Hitler, rather than the current right wing extremists intent on dismantling the state they were elected to run.
    Failing that, Waldo? Or take a few lessons from Italy.....[​IMG]
  16. Illegal war? Really still peddling that line?
    When were any wars legal? Who sits in judgement? Where is the jury? Not the UN surely..... that lovely fair and just security council that is not at all self serving....
    Does history teach us nothing????
  17. Earl Davids wife

    Earl Davids wife New commenter

    Please go back to posts 88 and 89 .
    I too am very concerned about the history content for KS1 (in particular) and also KS2. Posts 88 and 89 say very much what I feel.
  18. Mrs Corner, your children (and school) are very fortunate to have you. An excellent post.
  19. What a simple, heartfelt message - unencumbered by ideological posturing. I hope that you have conveyed these views to both the HA and the DfE, where civil servants, not Ministers, are reputed to be impartially monitoring responses to the 'consultation' that, in the case of History, seem 90% against both the implications and the practicality of the proposals. If Ministerial prejudices ultimately prevail, then it is to be hoped that EVERY school in the country will simply refuse to implement the proposals - bad law is ultimately unenforceable.
  20. The thing is that all concepts can be understood on different levels. When I teach my A level Politics students about nations I would have different aims from when I explain the word to my seven year old. There is nothing in the curriculum that suggests the detail you outline, Bonkers, is necessary in KS1. The good thing about the curriculum is that it gives you total flexibility over how you teach the idea and freedom to teach to a depth you deem appropriate. Topics can be boring and difficult if you lack freedom to make choices over depth and delivery but this much less likely when you have so much freedom. That is why my biggest gripe is over the amount of detail at KS2 and KS3 because the sheer volume to be covered creates constraints.

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