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ERIC Number: EJ933123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 106
ISSN: ISSN-0958-5176
Disciplinary Knowledge for All, the Secondary History Curriculum and History Teachers' Achievement
Counsell, Christine
Curriculum Journal, v22 n2 p201-225 2011
The history education community's efforts to help pupils distinguish between the discipline of history and rawer forms of collective memory have been beset with problems from inside and outside the education community. From without, teachers face criticism for their supposed failure to foster narrowly celebratory versions of Britain's past; from within, pressure to reduce history to generic "skills" of the "new cross-curricularity", apparently in the interests of relevance, utility or engagement. This article will argue that such genericism is, first, redundant, in that it adds nothing to strong disciplinary practice in fostering thinking, reflection, criticality and motivation; and, second, inadequate: disciplinary knowledge and concepts are necessary in order to reach or challenge claims about the past. The argument is built from history teachers' discourse about their own efforts to find out how to make disciplinary history work at the pedagogic site. The article examines history teacher efforts to address complex problems of uniting content and concept and of motivating lower-attaining or marginalised students whom others (variously) claim can be helped only by narrow narratives or by giving up on disciplinary rigour altogether. The story of history teacher efforts contains valuable lessons for curriculum reviewers about the potential of strong classificatory framing for emancipatory and engaging learning. The article argues that any improvement of the existing Key Stage 3 curriculum is pointless, however, unless wider cultural and structural problems impeding lower-attaining students' entitlement to the subject are resolved. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A