History Lover

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Interested in history and education. Believer in cutting out the gimmicks from lessons & keeping the main thing the main thing.

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The rise of generic pedagogy

Ever since reading Michael Fordham’s blog about pedagogy and curriculum earlier this week, I’ve been thinking about the striking similarities between teacher training and the MBA (Master of Business Administration) The whistle-stop tour of that first training year cannot in such a short time acquaint the trainee with the curriculum knowledge they will need to teach effectively. I don’t know how many teacher training courses in this country take trainees through this process for the key parts of curriculum that they will be expected to teach (for instance, most if not all history teachers will be required to teach the Norman Conquest, Magna Carta or the English Reformation at KS3 or beyond). Just like my MBA course couldn’t equip me with expertise on all the possible businesses I might venture into, so too the one-year teacher training cannot equip new teachers with the expertise to do their job well.

Why I started Learning for Memory

Having seen the KS3 textbooks on offer, I thought there was a definite gap for the kind of book I wanted to write. I also wanted to write a book that could essentially provide fully-fledged lessons for busy teachers (many teaching outside their subject specialism) and especially new teachers like me who were being overwhelmed with workload. Finally, I also wanted the book to include writing exercises to help develop better writing skills. I resolved to self-publish, and this gave me even more freedom to just write the book I wanted to write.

Learning for Memory – We have lift off!

This booklet introduces pupils to Christianity in the Middle Ages and looks at the different ways people expressed their faith, in particular the growth of monastic and mendicant religious orders, and heresies. Enquiry questions: What challenges to his rule did William the Conqueror face on becoming king of England and how did he face them? This booklet covers the period of civil war between Stephen and Matilda, examining its origins and trying to understand why Matilda was unable to win the crown of England. Substantive concepts: dynasty, inheritance, civil war, anointing of a king, interpretation (Was it Matilda’s arrogance or not that cost her the crown? ).

ResearchED Rugby – a veritable smorgasborg of speakers

It wasn’t stale, it was fresh, fresh, fresh. And, for the first time ever, I dipped my toes by actually taking part in a debate (with David Weston and David Didau). The highlight for me though, was the last talk I attended, by Niki Kaiser and Victoria Barnett, who shared with us their journey in becoming research leads at their school. As Niki said, she’s just a teacher, and a part time one at that, but she overcame her nerves, knocked on her head teacher’s door and discussed her idea.

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