Teaching GCSE History: The History of Medicine

Schools have been teaching this topic for over 35 years now. No matter how innovative the textbooks, we all need to use fresh approaches from time to time. The new 2016 curriculum with its different, British, emphases gives us this opportunity. You’ll love the quality of the resources and the way they have been used in novel ways. Whole lessons are spent exploring a German painting showing surgery in 1890, working out whether Jenner and Fleming deserve their reputations, and investigating who should appear on the front page of a medical textbook written in 1500.

Outstanding Lessons

SMART TASK Revision: name your best squad

To help students remember who the key individuals were in the history of medicine, you might like to present them as members of two opposing football teams.... [private] Team A is clearly the best squad of 11, perhaps with a couple of substitutes. The ‘second team’ would be the next...
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Teaching the History of Medicine

As you all know, the trick with teaching this course is to marry a strong contextual knowledge with an understanding of the various factors that had a positive and a negative impact on change. Concepts of progress and regress need to be looked at over...
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How did Snow make the breakthrough with cholera?

This lesson focuses on problem-solving. Instead of simply telling students how clever Snow was, or showing them a video explaining his breakthrough, students have to see if they can spot the connections Snow made. Only when they have tried is the answer revealed.  Methods such...
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SMART TASK: GCSE questions on Renaissance Medicine

Using Zones of relevance to answer two possible questions on Renaissance Medicine.

Have you ever despaired of GCSE history students who answer the question they want to answer rather than the one that was actually set? I think I may have a partial solution. Using the...
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