10 things great History teachers do in outstanding history lessons

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

  1. Challenge students with higher order questioning and give them time to think their answers through.
  2. Encourage enquiry by asking students to generate their own questions.
  3. Encourage students to use sources constructively to create a narrative, not endless source analysis exercises
  4. Tell enthralling stories with an eye for the motivating detail that goes beyond the trivial and develops a deep sense of period
  5. 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
  6. Know which perplexing questions to ask and which interpretations will fire students’ imaginations
  7. Know which misconceptions students might harbour and plan clever activities to ensure the tough bits get taught particularly well.
  8. Make the past come alive through their choice of resources such as artefacts, oral history, site visits
  9. Knowing the full range of resources that could be used and knowing when, and when not, to use them.
  10. Ensure that assessment is mainly about improving teaching and learning

 

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