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For this assignment, I would like you to write a historiographical analysis of the history you studied at school.

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Presentation on theme: "For this assignment, I would like you to write a historiographical analysis of the history you studied at school."— Presentation transcript:

1 For this assignment, I would like you to write a historiographical analysis of the history you studied at school.

2 Historiography for Beginners Dr Marcus Collins, Loughborough University marcus.collins@lboro.ac.uk

3 For this assignment, I would like you to write a historiographical analysis of the history you studied at school. Did you learn more ‘traditional’ history than ‘new’ history? Was the study of history presented to you as being more of a ‘science’ than an ‘art’? In what ways do you think politics shaped the history curriculum and the way in which it was taught? To what extent did your schooling achieve the declared aim of the national curriculum in history of ‘promoting citizenship [and] … pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’?

4 Certainly it is much simpler to teach traditional history rather than new history and I believe this is the reason that at a lower age, traditional history is the fundamental way of teaching. [A] more ‘traditional’ form of history was taught [at primary school] because it is simpler to teach the basics in order to understand more broad history later on [T]he vast majority of my lessons were based upon ‘traditional’ history. My opinion is that while at secondary school the ‘traditional’ history style was used because it is the style that has been around the longest and is the easier of the two to participate in from a younger age and lower ability of analysis. The choice of choosing ‘traditional history over its more modern ‘new’ counterpart is one which younger people enjoy I believe.

5 Key stage three in secondary school was aimed at setting a structure to subjects with clear aims and also introduced more complex topics, such as social standings and to a degree economic influences... which shows ‘new’ history in action. Growing up, I was taught ‘Traditional’ History.... However, almost ten years later, the History I knew begun to change... I had not previously encountered such as the study of society and the study of groups of people. This, I now know as ‘New’ History. GCSE was focused primarily around learning dates, facts and figures on events in order to be able to regurgitate them for the exam in the summer. The emphasis on elites was clear... [But at A-Level] Instead of focusing of the role of the individual upon history, we focused on the way history impacted the individual. When I came to study A level I was told to almost ignore what I was told at GCSE.

6 Key stage three in secondary school was aimed at setting a structure to subjects with clear aims and also introduced more complex topics, such as social standings and to a degree economic influences... which shows ‘new’ history in action. Growing up, I was taught ‘Traditional’ History.... However, almost ten years later, the History I knew begun to change... I had not previously encountered such as the study of society and the study of groups of people. This, I now know as ‘New’ History. GCSE was focused primarily around learning dates, facts and figures on events in order to be able to regurgitate them for the exam in the summer. The emphasis on elites was clear... [But at A-Level] Instead of focusing of the role of the individual upon history, we focused on the way history impacted the individual. When I came to study A level I was told to almost ignore what I was told at GCSE.

7 Key stage three in secondary school was aimed at setting a structure to subjects with clear aims and also introduced more complex topics, such as social standings and to a degree economic influences... which shows ‘new’ history in action. Growing up, I was taught ‘Traditional’ History.... However, almost ten years later, the History I knew begun to change... I had not previously encountered such as the study of society and the study of groups of people. This, I now know as ‘New’ History. GCSE was focused primarily around learning dates, facts and figures on events in order to be able to regurgitate them for the exam in the summer. The emphasis on elites was clear... [But at A-Level] Instead of focusing of the role of the individual upon history, we focused on the way history impacted the individual. When I came to study A level I was told to almost ignore what I was told at GCSE.

8 Throughout my school life, history was taught in its traditional sense as designed by Ranke... Throughout my time at school I have only been taught traditional history, under the impression that this is the only way to study history. Only by coming to university have I encountered new history. I suppose the studies I performed at A level were traditional history. Focusing on the ‘great men’ of the time, and the ‘politics’, but there is more to life than that, and there is more to History than that. I overwhelmingly studied history from a ‘traditional’ viewpoint with very little ‘new’ history that I can remember. The focus of the history was virtually always on the big events from the period and very rarely focused on the social effects and changes. Prior to studying on this programme, much of the history that I had learnt at school was built around simply knowing the facts, figures and statistics of a particular historical event...

9 [T]he studies never veered away from issues that didn’t directly affect Britain. In my teaching, Britain was viewed as a country that would not stand for inequality and stood by many strong principles regarding the welfare of human beings. Britain was always presented in a positive, patriotic light. Our country and its way of governing are continually portrayed as the perfect model for a state...

10 [T]he National Curriculum is Eurocentric... Up until my first year of history in University I had taken an extremely Eurocentrism [sic] view of the world, assuming that Europe was all powerful, pulling the strings of the worlds society, both economically and politically. [T]he teaching in schools is a very bias view of world history, a snippet of knowledge in such a wide historical spectrum. If there is not a sustained movement towards world history in future National Curriculums I fear that students will be terribly unaware of the complexities and wonders that other nations have to offer.

11 The moral lessons learnt when studying about topics such as slavery and Apartheid were invaluable... I feel the liberal approach adopted by the national curriculum is necessary for multicultural societies to function. We were taught to avoid war as it brings with it huge loss of life and many other consequences. We were taught not to promote nationalism as this can contribute largely to the creation of wars as seen in both world wars. [T]he pedagogues... insisted on making us ‘learn from the mistakes of the past’, seemingly with the intention of making us walk out of the classroom thinking ‘I must not appropriate Africans from their homeland and sell them for profit as non- wage labourers to American cotton and tobacco producers’.

12 The moral lessons learnt when studying about topics such as slavery and Apartheid were invaluable... I feel the liberal approach adopted by the national curriculum is necessary for multicultural societies to function. We were taught to avoid war as it brings with it huge loss of life and many other consequences. We were taught not to promote nationalism as this can contribute largely to the creation of wars as seen in both world wars. [T]he pedagogues... insisted on making us ‘learn from the mistakes of the past’, seemingly with the intention of making us walk out of the classroom thinking ‘I must not appropriate Africans from their homeland and sell them for profit as non- wage labourers to American cotton and tobacco producers’.

13 I personally find it incredible that if you did not make it too the second year of A level, then you most likely do not know of the atrocities that Britain committed in years gone by, that you associate concentration camps with Hitler and the holocaust, but not Britain and the Boers. I do not think the national curriculum promoted my cultural development much as I did not study any country outside of Europe and America.

14 I personally find it incredible that if you did not make it too the second year of A level, then you most likely do not know of the atrocities that Britain committed in years gone by, that you associate concentration camps with Hitler and the holocaust, but not Britain and the Boers. I do not think the national curriculum promoted my cultural development much as I did not study any country outside of Europe and America.

15 the most traditional of historical educations being received by overseas students an awareness that ‘traditional’ methods could prevail even when studying topics that lent themselves to ‘new’ historical approaches (for example, industrialisation or Native American history) little exposure to pre-modern history, historiography or archival research prior to university a perceived tension between intellectual inquiry and ‘teaching to the test’

16 a frustration with the preponderance at school of ‘traditional’ history of an empirical and high-political bent a perception that ‘new’ history and world history are more comprehensive, democratic and inclusive a greater degree of ‘new’ history taught at later stages of schooling, taken by students to indicate that it is more challenging than its traditional counterpart

17 widespread concern over a Eurocentric curriculum, with what little extra-European history on offer concerning the impact of the West upon the non-West in slavery, imperialism and the United States a tendency to view the concentration on British history as insular, biased, nationalistic and associated with a ‘traditional’ approach concerns over the Hitlerisation of the curriculum somewhat offset by the subject being taught as ‘total history’ and with reference to historiographical debate a general desire for the study of history to include a moral dimension dissatisfaction with the curriculum even among those who go on to study the subject at university

18 [I have] almost a sense of feeling cheated by the syllabus Why do we study what we do?


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