The feel of the past

ACCESS TO HISTORY. By Andrew Turner. David Fulton pound;14

Probably no other curriculum subject has been defined in so many ways as history. In Access to History, Andrew Turner has a go. History is, he says, "their own past" ("their" being children with learning difficulties, including profound multiple learning difficulties). He shows how to make the past accessible to pupils for whom, many think, history is a closed book.

Turner focuses on children's interaction with the past (the space, sounds, shadows and scents of a castle for example). And he sees no reason why any pupil should be denied access to historical stories, a particularly rich source of vicarious experiences.

The early chapters may be over-burdened with references and quotations, but the case studies more than compensate for this. You may not be so forgiving about the quality of the photographs.

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