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Learning to Teach History in the Secondary School



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Resources and ideas about children's understanding of Time

grim"They know who Queen Victoria was, but they have no idea what century she lived in. They know Napoleon was a general but they have no idea what is meant by the Napoleonic era. Today, few students have any idea what came before or after what." Anthony Beevor, author of the best selling book, Stalingrad. (Sunday Times, 20 June, 1999)

There has recently been a popular debate about children's grasp of time after an ICM survey revealed that only 4% of 14 year olds in the UK know the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Does this matter? Is it a disgrace? Is it the fault of bad history teaching? Or have history teachers more worthwhile things to do than stuff children's heads with dates?

This part of the site contains some information, ideas and materials about children's understanding of Time.

A suggested framework for developing children's understanding of Time

Why an understanding of Time and Chronology is important in the study of history

Some possible exercises to develop pupils' understanding of Time

Web links to sites which address time and chronology

Summaries of recent research and writing about children's understanding of Time

References for reading about children's understanding of Time

A historical perspective: some previous models for progression in children's understanding of Time

Materials for classroom display

Is it important that children should learn "key" dates in British history? The view of some people involved in History Education

John D Clare on the teaching of time

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