Teachers as transformation agents: what is the role of teachers in transforming their discipline into a school subject?

28 April, 2021, 5-7pm GMT

Dr Alison Kitson, UCL Institute of Education

This seminar shares research into the practice of three expert teachers with a particular focus on the kinds of knowledge they draw on in their practice and the extent of their role in transforming disciplinary knowledge into school subjects. The teachers in the research taught history, geography or physics and the session will explore the distinctiveness of their knowledge, both disciplinary and professional, as a way of understanding the particular role and needs of subject teachers, particularly in history. This session will be especially relevant to those interested in teacher knowledge, expert teaching, subject specialism and the role of history within the school curriculum.

The seminar is free and open to all. To register, follow this link.

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What is School History For? Problems and possibilities – web lecture and discussion

University of Oulu, Centre for Philosophical Studies of History, 25th March 2-4pm GMT, Online.

Dr Arthur Chapman, UCL Institute of Education

This talk will explore a number of possible answers to the question of the aims and purposes of school history, thinking at the intersection of the theory of history and curriculum studies. Chapman’s presentation will develop the proposition that school history has a vital role to play in the lives of pupils and argue that we need to broaden the scope and form of history education beyond the ‘disciplinary’ approaches that are conventional in many contexts around the world. Chapman’s contention will be that the school history should pay closer attention to contemporary theory of history to realize its power and potential.

Further information is at this link: https://www.oulu.fi/centreforphilosophyofhistory/arthur2021

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Historical Thinking and Early Years children: How archaeology and archaeological sources can guide the introduction of historical reasoning

Wed, 24 March 2021 17:00-19:00 GMT

Dr Laura Arias-Ferrer, University of Murcia, Spain

There is an increasing awareness that young children are able to develop some historical knowledge and skills (De Groot-Reuvekamp, Van Boxtel, & Harnett, 2014). This is what Cooper (2002, p. 39) describes as ‘embryonic historical thinking’, based on the emergent abilities that children show when they analyse, compare, and interact with specific sources, share their ideas and/or construct interpretations about the past. Some other studies show their ability to recognize perspective or understand multi-causality (Levstik, 2013). This seminar will focus on the results to two studies conducted with 4 and 5 year old students that aim to explore this proposition and to develop the hypothesis that the gradual introduction of carefully crafted analytical exercises might better scaffold children’s emergent historical thinking than the more common unstructured approach that history usually receives in early childhood settings.

The event is free and open to all. To register, click this link.

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Three approaches to revising your Key Stage 3 curriculum

Thursday, 11 March 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT

Chaired by Dr Michael Riley and Dr Alison Kitson

This workshop offers the opportunity to hear how three history departments have revised their key stage three curricula.

There has been much emphasis on curriculum planning of late, whether in response to calls to diversify the curriculum, the demands of GCSE or to broader discussions about knowledge and progression. As a result, many schools are in the process of revising their key stage three curricula. In this workshop, three history departments across London will share their different insights into the process of revising their curricula and the outcomes in each case. All three offer thoughtful and interesting examples to inspire you, whether you are about to embark on a curriculum review or are close to finishing. The event will be co-hosted by Michael Riley and Alison Kitson and there will be plenty of opportunities for questions.

The event is free and open to all. Register at this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/three-approaches-to-revising-your-key-stage-3-curriculum-tickets-143308984029.


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Knowing History in Schools: Powerful Knowledge and the Powers of Knowledge – Book Launch Symposium

24th February, 5-7pm GMT, Zoom

This symposium launches the open access UCL Press book Knowing History in Schools: Powerful knoweldge and the powers of teaching. Three contributors to the book will contribute short presentations on the arguments of the book. Three respondents, not involved in the book, will then contribute responses to the book, and we will then open up the symposium for questions to the panel, via chat.

The event is free and open to all. Places can be booked here.

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Teaching about the British Empire

Dr Michael Riley, UCL Institute of Education

4th February 2021, 16:00 – 17:30 GMT

The time is long overdue for a more elevated public discourse in relation to Britain’s imperial past. History teachers have a vital role to play in this by ensuring that pupils learn about the British Empire in the context of academically-rigorous and motivating history lessons. Michael’s workshop will share some important principles for teaching about the British Empire. He will focus on the ways in which four fascinating sources (all accessible from the British Museum) could be used as part of rich enquiries that develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the complexity and diversity of the British Empire at different points in time.

Free event. All welcome. Register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teaching-about-the-british-empire-tickets-136821890959

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Teaching history to Students of Colour/Color in the United Kingdom and the United States

Dr Kay Traille, Kennesaw State University

27th January, 5-7pm GMT Online.

Why do some Black students in the United Kingdom and African American Students in the United States find history lessons difficult or not worth studying?

Further details of this free seminar and a registration link can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teaching-history-to-students-of-colourcolor-in-the-uk-and-the-usa-tickets-135981174353.

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Knowing History in Schools: Powerful Knowledge and The Powers of Knowledge

This open access UCL Press book is published today and free to download from UCL Press here.

The book explores the ‘knowledge turn’ in the context of teaching and learning history through a dialogue between the eminent sociologist of curriculum Michael Young, and leading figures in history education research and practice from a range of traditions and contexts. With a focus on Young’s ‘powerful knowledge’ theorisation of the curriculum, and on his more recent articulations of the ‘powers’ of knowledge, this dialogue explores the many complexities posed for history education by the challenge of building children’s historical knowledge and understanding.

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Helping Students Deconstruct Historical Narratives and Accounts, Part II

The second seminar focused on Helping Students Deconstruct Historical Narratives and Accounts took place on the 16th June, hosted by Sam Jones at Bolder Academy.

The seminar began with a presentation on terror in Nazi Germany by Dr Chris Dillon of Kings College London.

Dr Arthur Chapman’s presentation then followed, focused on the use of logical modelling to evaluate interpretations.


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#Pastfwd2020 Launch

A new international seminar series – @Pastfwrd2020 – launched on the 10th June with an online presentation by Dr Arthur Chapman followed by Twitter discussion under the hashtag #pastfwd. The presentation is embedded below.

The Pastfwd website is: https://pastfwd.weebly.com/.


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