This lesson was kindly provided by Barbara Seymour who trialled it when she was Head of History at John Hunt of Everest School, Basingstoke:
This lesson follows on from the teaching of the key changes /discoveries in the nineteenth century. Students had visited the Old Operating Theatre near London Bridge and the Florence Nightingale Museum at St.Thomas.

The students felt confident of their factual knowledge, but I was worried that they saw the developments as one continuous line and had not appreciated the fact that the changes were not accepted and adopted everywhere. The visit to the Old Operating Theatre had introduced them to this idea because no anaesthetics were used there before it closed in the 1860s. I wanted to show students that this was not an anomaly.

Learning objectives

  • students explore in detail changes in later nineteenth century surgery
  • they analyse a contemporary painting and try to date it using contextual clues
  •  they grasp that we must be careful not to make sweeping judgements about speed of change and appreciate the fact that a new invention may not be used for quite some time later

Step 1

In this lesson students were presented with a challenge. They were

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