Teaching source work imaginatively in AS and A2 history

Effective  approaches to sourcework in A level history

 

 Imaginative approaches to source work

Again, 10 examples are provided on a separate PowerPoint presentation. The approach has been to look for imaginative approaches that really help students to ‘get’ source analysis, far in advance of their formulaic GCSE experience.

Strategy 1.

Beyond face value. For students to really grasp the importance of source anlaysis and evaluation, show them an example of a source where they are pretty sure that they know the meaning behind the source. An example is provided on Slide 2 of Imaginative approaches to sourcework. Here students are asked to discern the meaning behind what looks like a totalitarian poster. Students, fresh from GCSE immediately assume it shows Hitler’s dominance over the lives of young Germans. Hitler and the young boy face the same direction, with the father figure of Hitler looming over him. They end to ignore the writing, not only because it is in German. But can we really afford to ignore all the clues. Only when we know all the source can we go beyond ‘face value’ . In the poster we learn that it says at the top ‘ Youth Serves the Fuhrer”.

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