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ERIC Number: EJ1141333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0610
Of the Many Significant Things That Have Ever Happened, What Should We Teach? Magna Carta as a Focus for Learning about Power
McConnell, Tony
Teaching History, n166 p46-55 Mar 2017
There are three basic strands to our lessons. How should we teach? What skills should we enable our students to build? What content should we use to deliver those skills? In this article Tony McConnell, who has been re-designing the curriculum in his school in response to a changed examination regimen, considers the issue of subject content. With all of history to choose from, what should be chosen--and what principles should guide that choice? McConnell takes causation, change, significance, interpretation, diversity, source criticism and interpretation, as well as the ability to communicate about the past, as a given: the history curriculum should be broad enough to enable students to make progress on all of those fronts. But what else should determine the choices history teachers make in preparing their programmes of study? Is there such a thing as an entitlement to study certain topic areas--and what are they? Is there a moral dimension to choice of the history we put in front of our students? McConnell's solution, which works for him in his context, involves putting Magna Carta at the centre of a programme of study. This dovetails with the resources he has produced for the Historical Association, with the Heritage Lottery Fund, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the first issue of the document. So as well as providing a rationale for one aspect of the thought-process needed in electoral design, this article also provides some specific resources for teaching about Magna Carta, democracy and rights without losing sight of the original purpose of Magna Carta as a means of limiting royal power, and showcases further resources which the Historical Association has produced, and which can be found at:
Historical Association. 59a Kennington Park Road, London, SE11 4JH, UK. Tel: +44-300-100-0223; Fax: +44-20-7582-4989; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A