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How do ‘enquiry questions’ help struggling students learn history? Scottish Association of Teachers of History 8 November 2014 How do ‘enquiry questions’

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Presentation on theme: "How do ‘enquiry questions’ help struggling students learn history? Scottish Association of Teachers of History 8 November 2014 How do ‘enquiry questions’"— Presentation transcript:

1 How do ‘enquiry questions’ help struggling students learn history? Scottish Association of Teachers of History 8 November 2014 How do ‘enquiry questions’ help struggling students learn history? Scottish Association of Teachers of History 8 November 2014 Christine Counsell University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Christine Counsell University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

2 Who were the victims of the Holocaust? Jewish people Other groups Geographical diversity Ethnicity Age, generations Relationships

3 Those left behind? But WHO are they in relation to the Holocaust? “…victims”? The unborn? truncated communities/traditions/families Perpetrators? Bystanders? But ‘victim’ ??? What is a ‘victim’? So, WHO were the victims of the Holocaust?

4 What made this question work well? WHO were the victims of the Holocaust? It’s deceptively simple… …but it has a puzzle at its centre. It’s deceptively simple… …but it has a puzzle at its centre. That historical puzzle emerges only gradually. The puzzle is clearly located within one second-order concept…

5 History’s second-order concepts History’s ideas, structures or big concepts that shape typical historical questions and organise historical accounts cause and consequence change and continuity similarity and difference (diversity) historical significance

6 Jews Gipsy Roma peoples Homosexual s Mentally ill further persecuted categories All the traditional categories Geography Ethnicity Age (etc) Traditional approach. A lesson on each category. Fine, but where is the puzzle? An approach driven by a sim/diff puzzle. Each lesson confronts the SAME problem (‘Who?’). Crucially, each lesson addresses ALL victims at once. Each lesson we see them all through a new lens, a new taxonomy for handling the ‘Who…?’

7 History’s second-order concepts History’s ideas, structures or big concepts that shape typical historical questions and organise historical accounts cause and consequence change and continuity similarity and difference (diversity) historical significance

8 Lessons learned in 1980s and 1990s What went wrong? Lessons learned in 1980s and 1990s What went wrong? Sources reduced to atomised ‘skills’ Misconceptions fostered Weaker students often alienated and confused

9 Emerging solutions: the ‘enquiry question’ Riley, M. (2000) ‘Into the Key Stage 3 history garden: choosing and planting your enquiry questions’, Teaching History, 99. A sequence of lessons around ONE question Sources only used as part of a real puzzle Evidential thinking LINKED TO THE QUESTION Full integration of knowledge context SUBSTANTIAL, MOTIVATING outcome activity A sequence of lessons around ONE question Sources only used as part of a real puzzle Evidential thinking LINKED TO THE QUESTION Full integration of knowledge context SUBSTANTIAL, MOTIVATING outcome activity Across the 2000s… Clearer professional thinking about question types (second-order concept) and how they recur. Progression = teaching pupils to notice recurring features across the second-order concepts Across the 2000s… Clearer professional thinking about question types (second-order concept) and how they recur. Progression = teaching pupils to notice recurring features across the second-order concepts

10 History’s second-order concepts History’s ideas, structures or big concepts that shape typical historical questions and organise historical accounts cause and consequence change and continuity similarity and difference (diversity) historical significance

11 History’s second-order concepts History’s ideas, structures or big concepts that shape typical historical questions and organise historical accounts cause and consequence change and continuity similarity and difference (diversity) historical significance

12 causation Why did Scotland become Protestant? Why did Mary lose her throne? Why did the Atlantic slave trade last so long? How important were economic factors in making Scots emigrate? How far was Nicholas II responsible for the collapse of Tsarist Russia?

13 How do history teachers learn to frame effective enquiry questions?

14 How do history teachers manage interplay of content and concept in planning? Research questions: What were history teachers’ recurring objects of concern as they wrestled with the wording of an enquiry question? How did these these properties interact during planning? Data: 3 MEds; 4 PCPSs; 5 PGCEs: analytic notes on supervisions/tutorials, enquiry plans (including successive earlier drafts); lesson plans; observations; discussion after observations; assignments, follow-up interview.

15 History’s second-order concepts History’s ideas, structures or big concepts that shape typical historical questions and organise historical accounts cause and consequence change and continuity similarity and difference (diversity) historical significance

16 Example: Elody and her French Revolution enquiry Effort 1: How big was the change from subject to citizen? Effort 2: How big was the change experienced by French people? Effort 3: Who experienced most freedom during the French Revolution? This was closer to what Elody was trying to do, but she couldn’t get a sense of the final judgements pupils would make, and feared they would be simplistic or overly speculative and unhistorical. Effort 3: Who experienced most freedom during the French Revolution? This was closer to what Elody was trying to do, but she couldn’t get a sense of the final judgements pupils would make, and feared they would be simplistic or overly speculative and unhistorical.

17 types of change (Shemilt 1980) degree/extent? speed/rate/pace? nature/type? direction of change? degree/extent? speed/rate/pace? nature/type? direction of change?

18 Example: Elody and her French Revolution enquiry Effort 1: How big was the change from subject to citizen? Effort 2: How big was the change experienced by French people? Effort 3: Who experienced most freedom during the French Revolution? This was closer to what Elody was trying to do, but she couldn’t get a sense of the final judgements pupils would make, and feared they would be simplistic or overly speculative and unhistorical. Effort 3: Who experienced most freedom during the French Revolution? This was closer to what Elody was trying to do, but she couldn’t get a sense of the final judgements pupils would make, and feared they would be simplistic or overly speculative and unhistorical. Effort 4: How quickly did France change during the French Revolution? Almost there? But is pace of change actually doable and is it what I want to focus on?

19 Palek, D. (2013) Was the Great Depression always depressing? Examining diachronic diversity in students’ historical learning, International Journal of Learning and Lesson Studies, 2.2

20 Example: Elody and her French Revolution enquiry How big was the change from subject to citizen? How big was the change for French people? Who experienced most freedom during the French Revolution? How quickly did France change during the French Revolution? EUREKA! What KIND of change was the French Revolution?

21 How do history teachers manage interplay of content and concept in planning? Research questions: What were history teachers’ recurring objects of concern as they wrestled with the wording of an enquiry question? How did these these properties interact during planning? Data: 3 MEds; 4 PCPSs; 5 PGCEs: analytic notes on supervisions/tutorials, enquiry plans (including successive earlier drafts); lesson plans; observations; discussion after observations; assignments, follow-up interview.

22 Two themes: she is trying to find: 1 1 stable conceptual focus

23 How much can Vera Brittain tell us about experience of women in the First World War? What was going on in the “Glorious” Revolution of 1688? What did the master mason of Ely Cathedral know? What did the craftsmen of Cordoba know? Why did Islamic empires grow? What does Henry VI’s reign reveal about medieval kingship?

24 How much can Vera Brittain tell us about experience of women in the First World War? EVIDENCE What was going on in the “Glorious” Revolution of 1688? CHANGE/CONTINUITY What did the master mason of Ely Cathedral know? SIM/DIFF What did the craftsmen of Cordoba know? SIM/DIFF Why did Islamic empires grow? CAUSATION What does Henry VI’s reign reveal about medieval kingship? SIGNIFICANCE

25 Two themes: she is trying to find: 1 1 stable conceptual focus 2 2 dynamic content scope

26 As she tests the EQ against the unfolding lesson sequence, Elody is trying to find … 1 1 recursive encounter 2 2 emergent puzzle 3 3 a knowledge-transforming resolution

27 Where do I want the content scope fixed and where do I want it dynamic ? How can I keep the conceptual focus stable?

28 WHAT DO HISTORY TEACHERS DO WHEN THEY WRESTLE WITH ENQUIRY QUESTIONS THAT WILL MOTIVATE AND BUILD PROGRESSION IN BOTH HISTORICAL THINKING AND KNOWLEDGE? Two themes: Finding stable conceptual focus (framework for historical thinking; type of historical question) Establishing dynamic content scope (substantive knowledge to be acquired; scope for pupil selection & transformation) Three dimensions: Knowledge-transforming resolution, recursive encounter, emergent puzzle

29 Emerging solutions: the ‘enquiry question’ Riley, M. (2000) ‘Into the Key Stage 3 history garden: choosing and planting your enquiry questions’, Teaching History, 99. A sequence of lessons around ONE question Sources only used as part of a real puzzle Evidential thinking LINKED TO THE QUESTION Full integration of knowledge context SUBSTANTIAL, MOTIVATING outcome activity A sequence of lessons around ONE question Sources only used as part of a real puzzle Evidential thinking LINKED TO THE QUESTION Full integration of knowledge context SUBSTANTIAL, MOTIVATING outcome activity Across the 2000s… Clearer professional thinking about question types (second-order concept) and how they recur. Progression = teaching pupils to notice recurring features across the second-order concepts Across the 2000s… Clearer professional thinking about question types (second-order concept) and how they recur. Progression = teaching pupils to notice recurring features across the second-order concepts


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