Over the last 20 years I have observed over 2,300 lessons in a wide variety of schools. I am often asked what key messages I would distil from this deep experience. The following are 10 that come readily to mind. from this deep experience. The following are 10 that come readily to mind: you will have your own favourites and there are always the dreaded OFSTED criteria.
10 things great History teachers do in outstanding lessons
- Challenge students with higher order questioning and give them time to think their answers through.
- Encourage enquiry by asking students to generate their own questions.
- Encourage students to use sources constructively to create a narrative, not endless source analysis exercises
- Tell enthralling stories with an eye for the motivating detail that goes beyond the trivial and develops a deep sense of period
- Put the understanding of historian’s craft at the centre of learning and shows why it matters to students in their lives e.g. being able to evaluate websites
- Know which perplexing questions to ask and which interpretations will fire students’ imaginations
- Know which misconceptions students might harbour and plan clever activities to ensure the tough bits get taught particularly well.
- Make the past come alive through their choice of resources such as artefacts, oral history, site visits
- Knowing the full range of resources that could be used and knowing when, and when not, to use them.
- Ensure that assessment is mainly about improving teaching and learning