Some Ideas about Teaching
Over more than 30 years of teaching I developed a whole boatload of prejudices about how to teach and
tricks-that-work in the classroom, and recently I have dared to share them
with other History teachers on the History Teachers' Discussion Forum.
All over the country, teachers are having ideas,
developing practice, writing position papers, finding solutions ...
re-inventing the wheel. And what they do gets lost, because they
have hitherto lacked the means, and maybe still lack the confidence, to let
others see their ideas. Well here - for what they are worth -
are my ideas.
Do I credit them with any great weight?
Probably not, I fear. I can't say that there is any deep
pedagogical philosophy underlying them. I can't promise that
they will work in your school, or impress the Ofsted inspectors.
I sincerely hope that when you read them you will feel that you can improve on them,
or at least adapt them to your particular situation.
So they are offered - humbly - for you to try
out, reject, adapt and challenge at your will:
Ideas about General Teaching Issues
Ideas on the Teaching of History
Teaching History to Special Needs Pupils
Discipline in the History Classroom
How to use this website in your teaching
Issues fundamental to all teaching:
2. Becoming a
Framework for Teaching
Assessment for Learning
Planning Your Scheme
A 'Normal' lesson
9 Writing Reports
A Checklist for teachers
A Checklist for Heads of Department
14. Struggling with
In October 2012, I
was asked to deliver INSET for South Tyneside schools on 'Making Your GCSE
Lessons More Fun'. Unfortunately, it wasn't the start of a lucrative lecture tour, but the teachers on the day seemed to like it! These are the ideas I presented:
Making Your Lessons Fun
In August 2011, I
was asked to write the 'Expert blog' for the Hodder History Nest.
I chose the theme: 'What sort of history should
school history be?' and thought you might be interested to read
what I said:
History is a discourse
The importance of being ... argumentative
3. Mr Gove and the Return of Facts
4. Selecting the facts = choosing the History you want
5. MrSchama's Dream
6. Autism and the Primacy of Analysis
7. How Enid Blyton changed my life
8. The Invisible Man
9. Indoctrination and the Pedagogy of the Individual
10. Fraught with danger and pedagogically shallow?
11. A few urgencies about interpretations
12. The misinterpretation of interpretations
13. Working with interpretations
14. Historiographers I: The Whig foundation
15. Historiographers II: The Marxist challenge
16. Historiographers III: The Advent of Postmodernism
17. Historiographers IV: A Postmodernism Glossary
18. Historiographers V: A Postmodernism Glossary continued
19. What postmodernism means for Mr Gove
20. A plea for empathy
22. The importance of being interesting
23. Historiography, Mr Gove and the new National Curriculum History
And here are some earlier thoughts on planning and delivering History lessons:
Objectives and Lesson Outcomes
The 'Blind Walk' - a quality starter
Teaching History using Analogy
Teaching how to do Sourcework Questions
Developing better Written exercises at Key Stage
Poetry in the History Classroom
10. Using Drama in the
Ability at GCSE
12. GCSE Exam
13. Publicising History -
Publicising History - jobs
Random 'rants' about aspects of
Sources and Interpretations
the Teaching of History
The Myth of 'Chronology'
At the end
of the day...
Articles about various aspects of teaching
History to SN pupils:
1. Teaching Special
Needs - A Short Foreword
2. Teaching Special
Reading for Understanding - 'every which way
Clare's 'Ten-Minute Write'
Teaching Dyslexic Pupils
Dyslexic Pupils Revise
Teaching Autistic Pupils
Function and Children's Behaviour
Discipline is just a facilitator for the
much-harder job of teaching History, but it's an issue that many young
teachers worry about, and which crops up regularly on the Forum.
These replies all address different perspectives of the problem:
Discipline for What?
Quiz - How
Much Am I to Blame?
Strategies which work with Year 11
problems about Boys and some possible solutions
Starting Off As
You Mean To Go On
When the Going Gets Tough
The Key to a
This website is used primarily by pupils as a revision site for Modern World Studies GCSE History - especially immediately before the GCSE exams!
the site receives more almost 3 million visits a
year (2012). One in ten visitors to the site spends longer than 30
minutes on it, so it is used intensively and actively.
However, the website is increasingly being used as a vehicle for teaching by:
Parents who have withdrawn their pupils from school and educating them at home;
Teachers who are using the materials with their classes.
Some of the elements on offer are also good for homeworks.
So whilst in no way wishing to be patronising, I wondered whether educators might welcome ideas on how to use this website in their teaching:
Using this website in your lessons
Using this website for homeworks
Using this website for revision