Keynote Sessions

Presidential Lecture

Voices from the classroom: the experience of universal secondary education in the UK since 1945
Peter Mandler
President of the Historical Association

Historical Association Annual Conference

Last year’s presidential lecture introduced the birth cohort studies, a unique resource for historians that has followed the lives of a representative sample of people born in the UK in 1946, 1958, 1970 and 2000. This year’s lecture draws out some ideas about the experience of universal secondary education that we can learn from these and other representative samples of citizens’ lives. What difference did secondary education make, both as a mirror and as a shaper, to social and cultural trends in the post-war world?
Friday – 9.00-10.00 – FK1PM

Friday Afternoon Education Keynotes

PRIMARY: Curriculum and teaching in primary history
Tim Jenner

Historical Association Annual Conference

Tim will discuss Ofsted’s inspection methodology and what this means for teachers and subject leaders in primary schools. He will also share findings from Ofsted’s visits to primary schools and discuss approaches to structuring a primary history curriculum and effective teaching and assessment in history.
Friday – 15.15-16.15 – FK2PR

SECONDARY: Seeking new perspectives on the British Empire: whose story do we tell?
Richard Kennett
Gatehouse Green Learning Trust
Tom Allen
St George’s School, Munich
Sally Thorne
Montpelier High School
Ed Durbin
Greenshaw Learning Trust

Historical Association Annual Conference

The city of Bristol has spent the last two years publicly wrestling with its colonial past. In this talk, four Bristol history teachers reflect on this process and the way in which it has impacted their classroom practice. They will discuss their approach to the teaching of the British Empire and transatlantic slavery, guided by academics, in an attempt to disrupt Eurocentric narratives and foreground the voices of the people who were affected by colonialism. The session will offer practical tips for your own classroom (both secondary and primary) on the stories that we tell about empire.
Friday – 15.15-16.15 – FK2SE

The four speakers are Bristol history teachers* who work closely together and are part of the thriving Bristol network. With others during the pandemic they wrote a new textbook for the M Shed museum, Bristol and Transatlantic Slavery, Origins, Impact and Legacies. They are now working on a new Key Stage 3 textbook on the British Empire following the same model.
* Tom is now based in Munich, but he is still an honorary Bristol history teacher.

Friday Evening

Round Table: Confronting controversial pasts


Historical Association Annual Conference

Jason Todd
Department of Education, University of Oxford


Historical Association Annual Conference

Claire Holliss
Reigate College


Historical Association Annual Conference

Thabo Stuck
The BRIT School


Historical Association Annual Conference

Alison Kitson
Deputy President of the HA


Historical Association Annual Conference

Kennetta Hammond Perry
De Montfort University Leicester


Historical Association Annual Conference

Naheeda Maharasingam
Rathfern Primary School

All nations have controversial histories, yet leaving these histories unexplored can contribute to misunderstandings, divisions and intolerances in the present. The events of recent years, which have included large-scale global protests against legacies of slavery and colonialism, serve to underpin this point.

It is now 14 years since the publication of the Historical Association’s TEACH Report, which sought to outline the challenges and opportunities relating to teaching ‘Emotive and controversial’ history. While much of this is still apposite, we need to take stock of how scholarship has shifted and the impact of contemporary public discourses on both the study and teaching of these topics.

This Round Table will explore a number of issues and look at how they are taught and what strategies are used in schools and universities, as well as public perceptions of more controversial histories.

Friday – 18.15-19.15 – FK3RT

Saturday morning Keynote

Educational systems failure? Teaching British colonial history then and now
Corinne Fowler
University of Leicester

Historical Association Annual Conference

This talk explores pioneering developments in British imperial history and considers why it is such a sensitive topic today. Looking back at her personal experience of school history education – both as a pupil and as a former teacher – Professor Fowler explores her personal experience of school history education and discusses how we can all can help to approach 400 years of British colonialism. This is no easy task: these four centuries encompass widely different kinds of colonial activity in many parts of the world. Illustrating her own suggestions with examples from her child-led history and writing project Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted, she considers why this history is so resonant to pupils now, why knowledge about the British Empire matters, and why local history provides an excellent route for promoting a fuller understanding of colonial history.
Saturday – 9.00-10.00 – SK1CF

Professor Corinne Fowler specialises in rural Britain’s colonial connections. She directs ‘Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted’, a child-led history and writing project that explores historic houses’ many connections to the British Empire. Corinne was co-editor of the National Trust’s interim report on the colonial links of properties in its care and found herself embroiled in the ‘culture war’ as a consequence. Her recent and forthcoming books include Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural Britain’s Colonial Histories (Peepal Tree Press, 2020) and The Countryside: Ten Walks Through Colonial Britain (Penguin, forthcoming 2023).

Saturday afternoon Education Keynote

Dawson Lecture
Katharine Burn
Honorary Secretary of the Historical Association; University of Oxford

Historical Association Annual Conference

We are delighted to announce that Dr Katharine Burn will be giving the inaugural Dawson Lecture. Katharine is well known to many for her work on teachers’ continued professional learning and for her co-direction of the HA’s annual survey of history teaching in secondary schools over the past 12 years. Katharine is particularly interested in how sustained engagement with historical scholarship can underpin outstanding CPD and concerned to ensure that effective curriculum planning remains responsive to the affective needs and desires of young people.
Friday – 13.45-14.45 – SK2DL

The Dawson Lectures have been named after Ian Dawson to honour and celebrate individuals in school history teaching and history teacher education.

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