Editorial – April 2021

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Practical Histories

First things first – we’re back. And yes, we know we’ve never really been away, working throughout the latest lockdown….but you know what we mean! Well done all – a monumental mental and technical achievement.

Perhaps now we will all be able to stop saying those over-used phrases that have become part of our lives – “you’re still on mute” and “er, we’ve not been closed – we’ve been open for key worker children throughout”. 

Secondly, a big thank you for all the lovely comments we received in response to the release of the first edition of practicalhistories.com.

We had a hunch that a new online journal that reflected some of the brilliant ideas, strategies and theories out there might strike a chord with you all. 

Please remember though, the content for this journal is created by YOU – and we hope that you are inspired to get involved to read more, to comment on the articles and to share your practice … and even write for us.

Who’s who in this edition?

Arthur Chapman, Associate Professor of History in Education, helps us understand the importance of argument and reasoning in the history classroom. He also provides some practical ideas to show you how to help your pupils to argue more effectively.

Ian Dawson, inspired the history trainees at Sussex so much that we wanted to share his ideas to a wider audience. Here he explains how to use your pupils as physical objects in the classroom AND provides covid alternatives.

Rachel Ball, Assistant Principal and History Teacher at an 11-16 school in Salford, shares her key principles of good revision. Her article was initially written with Year 11 revision in mind, but upon reflection, a few tweaks meant she revised the article to showcase ideas and strategies that can be applied to any group of students who will be sitting assessments.

Tom Pattison, Director of Humanities at an 11-18 comprehensive in Essex, showcases his journey in translating historical scholarship into classroom teaching – in particular, the ‘time machine’ that is The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.

Rosie Culkin-Smith, History Teacher and Head of Year at a high school in Manchester, shares practical tips, tricks and techniques in using visualisers in the history classroom. Packed with practical advice, she demonstrates how to use it effectively, with high impact in the history classroom….and when to step away. 

Liam Hall, Head of History at Summerhill School, Kingswinford, completes his thoughts on the Importance and Power of Teacher Talk in the arsenal of the effective teacher. 

Maddie Warren, NQT in Brighton explains the challenges of teaching GCSE history for the first time.

And finally, Lindsay Bruce (author and History teacher) talks you through her ‘Where in History‘ – the historical event, time or era that she would have liked to witness. We would also like to thank Lindsay for her efforts in helping us pull this edition together.

We hope you enjoy reading this edition of practical histories as we enjoyed editing it.

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Practical Histories


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