Getting your history key questions right and dangers of getting them wrong

I try to avoid looking at GCSE specifications  as they are usually so dull. You might think that this is a good thing: at least they are reliable and don’t take risks with students’ futures. But if you look at them closely they are not only exceedingly anodyne: they are often misleading too. Take AQA’s specification on the Elizabethans for example. When looking for inspiration to teach the reasons for voyages of exploration we are offered the following crass question:Why did Englishmen go on trips overseas?
Not only  does this do no more than repeat, rather than enhance, the specification requirement it is potentially misleading for students. Should we really be describing these voyages , anachronistically, as trips! or is it just me?

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