History hokum

9th October 2009 at 01:00

As a history advanced skills teacher, I read with a sense of weary inevitability and anger the great and the good's views about why history should be taught ("History has done a bunk. Now save it...", September 25). Trying to make history relevant by trotting out that "this bit of content is really great - so teach it and kids will take the subject" is hopelessly out of tune. The reason history is struggling is because of this approach, which alienates students.

I don't give a toss why Watt Tyler died or why the Reform Act changed Parliament, but I am interested in how I get my students to explore and engage with the work to develop skills they will use in school and beyond it. The way to make history exciting is via tasks and skill development, not by topic and content.

Roy Watson-Davis, Advanced skills teacher, Blackfen School, Sidcup, Kent.

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