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New National Curriculum

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

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Sorry but that's just silly...If you have to teach 10+ subjects, you aren't going to be as much of a specialist as someone who only has to teach 1 (or sometimes 2)... And probably has a degree in it...
    Pathetic...


     
  2. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    No it is not silly. Those with more experience go can further in a certain subject, but children should not be deprived the right to learn about something just because their teacher is not a 'specialist'.
    There are a nation of children now who can't do a forward roll because their teacher is not a 'PE specialist' and has not taught them PE. There are children who don't know where the Cambrian mountains are, because their teacher is not a 'Geography' specialist.
    It does not take a specialist to teach 9 year olds about the murder of Thomas Becket. It takes a good teacher with a good understanding of what they are about to teach. Horrible Histories do a very nice sketch which sums it up in about 2 minutes

     
  3. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    I'm sure that many primary teachers can teach well - but their expertise is bound to be at a broader rather than deeper level, and (not surprisingly) they will become good at the topics that are commonly taught in KLS1 & KS2, not necessarily the 16+ ones now being proposed...
    The opinion of primary teachers is being canvassed by the HA here:-
    http://www.history.org.uk/news/news_1766.html
    Feel free to contribute...

     
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Up to 1688 in History is quite straight forward. It does not take a 'specialist' to teach about the murder of Thomas Becket, or the signing of the Magna Carta, even the English Civil War. These are events currently covered in maybe Y7/8. All the curriculum is doing is moving this back a couple of years.
    You have a generation of children now at 9/10 years old actually quite knowledgeable about History, mainly down to Horrible Histories. I am not saying teach like Horrible Histories, but if children can learn the basics why can't primary teachers be expected to?
    The whole debate here is very one sided - if someone asked primary pupils 'would you like history lessons that teach you about famous murders, executions, power struggles and terrible disease' then most would want to know more. It is the perfect age to learn about these events - the 1800s-1900s is far less gory but still extremely interesting and more appropriate for Y8/9s.
    But primary history lessons have all to often been dressing up and colouring in pictures. A change is needed.
     
  5. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    As a primary teacher with a degree in History I recognise that I am a very rare beast indeed, and having been watching this thread with interest. It seems to me that those who do not see any problem with the History proposals do so because they have little understanding themselves of the subject and it's complexities (as does Our Great Leader).
    History, as an academic discipline is not about a linear story, told from one, single point of view. There is much to be said for a comparative approach, especially for young children. It saddens me that the topics suggested for young children are the very ones that can enthuse and intrigue our young-older teenagers. I cannot quite get my head round how to effectively teach complex concepts such as nationhood (the growth of the idea of which is worthy of study in its own right - but not for 7year olds!) to young children.
    I would like to see much more of a broad brush approach to teaching history to little ones (by this, I mean up to the end of KS2), where the emphasis is on enthusiasm and enjoyment, excitement and preparation for secondary school. I can't actually see much wrong with the nc history as it stands...except maybe....and.... ;-)
    I do wish people would listen to the specialists - who really do know what they are talking about.
    (And I haven't started on the political motivations behind this island-centric version of History...)
     
  6. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Oh, and I don't remember very much History from my primary years - certainly not 'facts'. (But then, there weren't a great deal of those in my degree either ;)
     
  7. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    heh heh
     
  8. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    I'm certain Medieval or 17th Century specialists would disagree with you, possibly quite vocally...

    BTW look at the other topics listed by me in post 136 above, rather than just 'cherry picking' a couple!

    I'm not going to decry Horrible Histories, indeed anything that encourages reading, esp. reading History, is fine with me...But only yesterday Terry Deary was being interviewed saying that he feels that HH has reached the end of the road & there won't be any more, so this generation of pupils may be a 'blip'...
    I would also ask what sort of History is learned from HH - essentially it is social History and very anecdotal, rather than contributing to (say)an overarching narrative of national History...

    Funnily enough that is exactly what most schools already teach in Y8 and/or Y9...along with the 20th C...
    Not in those primary schools I've had direct experience of ... Can you provide evidence to support this?

     
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    [​IMG]
     
  10. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Doesn't this show that primary education has been dumbed down?
    Pupils don't start doing challenging work until secondary school. Why should the gory stuff be saved for Y7/8? You may argue they are disnegaged - but they are disnegaged because they have not learnt anything from primary school other than maths and English, and how to sit in a circle.
    By putting the gory stuff in Y5/6, you can always come back to it in Y7/8, as well as progressing onto more in depth topics from 1800/1900s.

    Tale for example World War II.
    Once they have spent 4 lessons watching 'Goodnight Mr Tom'.
    Children dress up as evacuees - but don't know WHY they are dressing up, WHAT is happening and WHERE they are. They don't know WHO is responsible, and WHEN it happened.
    The typical task is to write a letter home - saying 'hi mum, I miss you etc etc'.
    But what do they actually know about World War II? What do they know about World War I? What do they know about the British Empire?
    The current curriculum is a pick and mix which does not stretch children.

     
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    OfSTED doesn't agree with you:
    http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/history-successful-subject-schools
    'History is being taught successfully in schools and most pupils enjoy
    well-planned lessons that extend their knowledge, challenge their
    thinking and enhance their understanding, according to an Ofsted report
    published today.'

     
  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Yes, all possible. I recently taught about the Spanish Armada and my pupils already knew a lot as they saw the 3 min Horrible Histories sketch that depicts it as a Hollywood Terminator style film trailer.
    HH will be around for a long time, the clips will be on YouTube, it will be constantly repeated. Actually with the Armada, the text book I was using gave the impression that the Spanish only made one attempt. My pupils, after having already seen the HH clip, straight away questioned the textbook as they knew there was more than one attempt.
    Can you provide evidence for your schools?



     
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    Look at the OfSTED report...
     
  14. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    The report History for all, based on evidence from inspections
    of history between April 2007 and March 2010 in 83 primary schools and
    83 secondary schools, found history was generally a popular and
    successfully taught subject.


    So to measure the quality of history in primary schools, we only need to look at 83.
    Generally is not a strong enough word for me. That implies that only half of those schools were any good at it.
     
  15. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I'd rather see exercise books and a scheme of work.
     
  16. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    I'm not sure you understand the basis of educational research!

    PS Do you know more than 83 primary schools..?

     
  17. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Yes I do, in the world of primary education if one person is doing it right, then everyone else is and they are not allowed to be questioned.
    You are saying that there is no problem with primary history, and that the teaching is strong enough so that children are being stretched.
    You base this comment on an OFSTED survey of 83 primary schools between 2007 and 2010.
    You should have said that teaching is strong enough based on a sample of schools. OFSTED found teaching to be generally good in primary history. Don't forget the word generally, makes a lot of difference. Plus the survey included 83 secondary schools - so that word 'generally' applies to both primary and secondary.
     
  18. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    I'm happy to accept OfSTED's research over your personal point of view...
     
  19. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    .... of 83 schools.
    You are more than welcome to accept their research over me, just remember that it was research of just 83 schools over a 3 year period.
     
  20. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I don't think primary history has been dumbed down at all! You seem to be confused about 'gory stuff' - kids always love learning about how the ancient Egyptians removed brains etc in mummification...
    What I object to is trying to teach young children, who are not sufficiently developed, more complex philosophical ideas (eg nationhood, freedom etc) before they are ready. It's a bit like forcing them to perform a somersault on a beam before they can catch a ball. (Or something like that!) edited for random spelling!
     

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