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Discussion in 'History' started by WD, Dec 24, 2007.
Or the lousy Vocational Hybrid?
If the integrated humanities was in KS3 and if History was taught as a discrete subject at both KS4 & A Level, then maybe...otherwise no, I wouldn't.
Maybe it would be a humanitarian historian who saw history as playing a wider role in the social humanities and intrinsically linked to them as opposed to a narrow academic theme?
Political History, Social History, Economic History, Diplomatic History, Religious History, History of Medicine & Science, History of Ideas, English History, British History, European History, American History etc etc.
Need I go on ntmiutb? All of the above (& others) are taught under the banner of 'History', and indeed I teach aspects of most of them at the moment!
What we DON'T need is to water down and destroy the essence of this vital subject - a subject, incidentally, taught to 16 in all EU countries, except GB!
No I wouldn't. The point about yes I would if there was a discrete GCSE is a red herring, because if pupils had never been taught History as a discrete subject by the time they got to GCSE they would have a reduced chance of doing well anyway.
History is a very important, discrete curriculum subject and should be taught as such.
I teach integrated humanities at year 7 my school and are talking about expanding it to years 8 and 9.
Although it can be interesting working on cross-curricular ideas I am getting frustrated with the course. Especially as I have not yet had the chance to teach history in a meaningful way. What I am finding is that my subject is being watered down. The cross curricular activies that should be used to enhance history instead are strangling it. It is really getting me down.
After this experience I believe that history needs to be taught as a discrete subject. That does not mean that I shy away from cross-curricular activities just that the history is not lost under the banner of humanities.
Call me cynical but, lets face it, integrated humanities courses at KS3, are nothing more than a money saving scam by management. Merge the subjects together, dilute the content so that anyone with space on their timetable can teach it and result! Students will find the appalling mish mash neither interesting nor challenging and will desert History and Geography for the sunlit uplands of film studies, public services and media where competency based assessment allow them to accumulate vast numbers of GCSE passes with little or no effort.
In two local schools, which have 2 hours of integrated humanities per fortnight at KS3, both History and Geography are no longer offered at GCSE.
Theres the future and it stinks.....
I didn't realise how widespread the ideas of an integrated humanities subject was. kentish man what you are saying makes sense. In the next academic year the number of history lessons in my school is being cut.
It does not bode well for our subject. Interesting to see what impact the diplomas will have on our subject.
The thing is what can you do to frustrate this trend? In my last school I fought a two year running battle with SMT, lost and was effectively forced out - thoughin the nicest possible way.
Now, older and wiser, I'm more subte. Firstly make your discrete History courses as exciting as possible- lots of good trips and make sure your results are good. This attratcs the students. Secondly get involved with the integrated humanities (even though it sticks in your throat). Be a Bolshevik mole, tick all the right boxes and make all the right noises so SMT think you're loyal and then undermine it from within. Make sure History is represented in the course with topics that interest and challenge the students and chuck in a few good trips for good measure.
I agree KM, however always watch your back-at my school we have four GCSE classes (120+), with virtually half the year group taking History (and the dept. getting an average of 65% A-C over the last 10 years, in a sec. mod.). So what has happenedon the back of this success? Shafted, that's what. At KS3 over the last 6 years we have lost 25% of History teaching time from years 7 and 9. And this year the idea of Integrated Humantites at KS3 was mooted.Why? well the dreaded phrase 'key skills' was floated, and also Geography is dead on its feet (one GCSE class of about 28 pupils).
FWIW (Primary teacher in Scotland here)...and this despite an argument of mine that history is a great way of helping teach citzenship (but not the curriculum vision of citizenship...) I'm gearing up for an almighty argument when they release the new curriculum here...all I've heard so far are teachers ecstatic at the chance of teaching 'art and music and some nice writing' alongside history...now, I don't mind this as well as proper history teaching but this won't happen and history in the Primary section will soon, I fear, lapse into a worksheet on Roman sandals.
Fed up and the thing is I know I'll get a patronising smile and the 'oh hes off on one again' look but I just feel we're so far removed now from teaching anything useful.
Sorry - just meant as a 'I think I know how you feel' type rant...
You just ave to be flipping devious, get involved, put a smile on SMT's collective face and then subvert the whole thing from within. Remember most SMTs are so involved with preserving themselves that so long as the water looks calm, they're not going to bother you. Read your Lenin..... all answers to be found within!
Wouldn't 'subverting the whole thing from within' result in further damage to the learning of students - the people we are supposed to be doing this job for? The comments that people have made appear very short sighted, as if school is for YOUR benefit rather than the students. Stop being so precious.
Also, in reference to the topic question "Why would any passionate History teacher work in a school that adopts Integrated Humanities?" , my answer is becasue many of us have families to look after and cannot afford the luxury of swanning off to another establishment just because of the implementation of an integrated humanities curriculum. More evidence of short sightedness.
O dear IP... the word "appeasement" seems to sum up your last post.
I'm not being "precious" or "short sighted". I happen to believe passionately in History's place within the curriculum at its place is under threat from people (SMTs dominated by Maths & PE teachers) who appreciate neite skills it delivers. I am not going to have my subject sidelined because of some "initiative" dreamt up by an LEA adviser on the make.
I spent two years going head to head with SMT in my last school and lost. So now I am more subtle. I get involved and make sure History is properly represented within integrated Humanities with interesting and challenging topics that have some rigour.
Finally since you profess to be concerned about your students... do you REALLY think their interests are being served by the delivery of a mish mash of topics taught by non specialists?
Re: Post 14
I totally agree - it is in no students' interest to offer a diet of dumbed down topics, taught by those who have no real interest or commitment to the subject...
Perhaps not EVERY history teacher has been fortunate enough to get a job solely teaching history
Indeed Gunkey...... but that is not the same thing as seeing the subject wiped off the timetable...
WD - its sounds like you teach in my school, which is also started an intergrated yr 7 curriculum and looking to expand (over my rotting corpse mind!) history for us too is a very popular corse, with 5 GCSE classes EACH in years 10 and 11 (out of a 10 form entry) yet still it is under pressure, and we will undoubtably loose out if it extended to KS3. The 'good' teachers will leave (as its often the ones with poor behaviour managment to teach the year 7s) and the school will go down the pan! What makes a good teacher is their knowledge and enthuasium for their subject, removing that will leave uninterested teachers and unmotivated, poorly educated children.
Couldn't have put it better myself HT. Happy new year to you!