Relevance in A level history

I’m sure many of you have felt exasperated, from time to time, with students who answer questions about the extent to which something was successful by including material which answers a similar but not identical question. Here is an example from the Chief Examiner’s Report for 2015

Edexcel’s question in June 2015 ( D9) asked for a consideration of the extent to which the NAACP changed the status of African Americans in the years 1945-56. Many strong answers noted the Association’s success in achieving de jure victories via the Supreme Court, but that these were not always accompanied by de facto success thanks to the opposition of Congress or of groups such as the White Citizens Councils. A number of candidates addressed the NAACP’s successes, but went on to address other ways in which the status of African Americans was changed, referring to the impact of World War II and to the work of President Truman: these points were not relevant to the question set.

Having wrestled with this problem for many years the best solution I have come up with is called zones of relevance when half way through the lesson students are given a completely different questions and have to re-arrange the information cards to reflect different degrees of relevance. I have included some examples of this in practice on the site. Search for zones of relevance

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