Initial Teacher Education

This pathway is tailored to those providing the professional education and development of trainee teachers. Aligned with our secondary, primary, and mixed strands, this section caters specifically to the needs of those supporting the development of trainee teachers in any environment.

Supporting student teachers in primary history
Helen Crawford
University of Northampton
Ailsa Fidler
Liverpool John Moores University
This session will explore some of the complexities of supporting student teachers, school mentors and teacher educators in the primary context. As part of the session, we will share Historical Association resources that have been developed to support all stakeholders involved in the process of developing the next generation of primary teachers of history. The session will be suitable for any primary teacher or teacher educator – class, school or centre-based – who is involved in supporting student teachers.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Mentors, teacher educators, Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2
Towards a taxonomy of enquiry questions
Morgan Robinson
The University of Sheffield
Student teachers find it challenging to identify the disciplinary focus of their own enquiry questions (EQs). How can we support them to do this more successfully? This session proposes that a surface-level classification along dividing lines of disciplinary focus – a change/continuity enquiry versus a consequence enquiry, for example – can actually create more confusion than it resolves. Instead, we can teach student teachers to understand and correctly identify the particular type of EQ that they’ve created (or inherited) by providing them with a taxonomy and the tools that they need to accurately classify them, beyond these (often blurred) disciplinary divisions. Where confusion remains, we can equip student teachers to take charge of the direction of their EQ by embracing the sometimes-blurred lines between one ‘species’ of EQ and another.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 3, Teacher educators, mentors
Curriculum reform after Black Lives Matter: the role of teacher education
Sundeep Lidher
King’s College London
This session will present the outcomes of a recent ESRC-funded research project, ‘Decolonising History: Curriculum reform and teacher training’. The project, led by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), collated the responses of teacher educators and student teachers to recent demands for history curriculum reform, and captured how these calls for change have influenced thinking and practice in ITE in history. This research found that teacher educators remain powerful conduits for driving shifts in curriculum content and delivery, but they face significant barriers in supporting the next generation of history teachers to deliver more ‘diverse’ British histories in the classroom. Attendees will have an opportunity to respond to the project’s findings and to reflect on challenges and opportunities in their own institutional contexts.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Teacher educators, mentors, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
What GCSE pupils say about the British Empire: findings from a PhD study and implications for teaching
Abigail Branford
Oxford University
Using focus groups, surveys and classroom observations across ten schools, Abigail did a deep dive into how students understand the British Empire. While the study focused mainly on GCSE students studying ‘Migration, empires and the people’, it became clear that both Key Stage 3 and the broader public debates about empire were important for understanding the different ways in which students framed empire. Classmates sitting in desks alongside each other had very different interpretations of what they were learning. These differences related to students’ identities but not in straightforward ways. Looking at how students spoke about empire also revealed recurring misconceptions and gaps in understanding. In this session, Abigail discusses these findings from her doctoral study and offers some suggestions for ways to further enrich the teaching of empire.

Friday: 16.45–17.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4
Working with historical scholarship: getting started; keeping going; becoming expert
Siobhan Dickens
University of Cambridge
This session will give practical, evidence-based advice and tools for working with historical scholarship to develop classroom practice, based on two recent research projects that studied UK history teachers’ use of historical scholarship. It is aimed at teachers and history departments with any level of experience in working with scholarship. It will provide advice on getting started and how to develop and sustain beneficial work with scholarship, and provide tips on how to take established work with scholarship even further. It will focus on the underlying enablers of beneficial work with scholarship, to help teachers, heads of department and teacher educators to create flourishing, supportive environments where scholarship supports professional learning and practice development.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, post-16, teacher educators, mentors
Supporting beginning history teachers to tackle sensitive and controversial histories
Victoria Crooks
University of Nottingham; History Teacher Educator Network
Laura London
University of East Anglia; History Teacher Educator Network
Beginning and early career history teachers often feel uncertain and underprepared to tackle sensitive and controversial histories in the classroom. This session will emphasise the importance of opening up the past to ensure that no topics are considered off limits. It will explore working principles upon which mentors can draw to support their mentees, and suggest practical resources to support the rigorous teaching of sensitive and controversial histories.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00

Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, teacher educators, mentors, post-16
ITAP, you TAP, but why do ITAP? Making sense of Intensive Training and Practice in PGCE history
Alex Ford
Leeds Trinity University; Schools History Project
The revised framework for ITE has created a range of challenges for providers. One of the most significant is the newly created ITAP (Intensive Training and Practice) element. All trainees from 2024 will be required to engage in 20 ITAP days over the course of the PGCE year. There is significant vagueness about what constitutes a valid ITAP and what their ultimate aims might be.

In designing our ITAPs for 2024, Leeds Trinity have tried to explore ways in which to enable them to enhance rather than disrupt our provision. This has not been an easy task. However, we feel that we have now developed an approach that is valid both intellectually and in subject-specific terms, as well as being manageable for trainees and mentors. This workshop will take you through the ITAP design for PGCE history, as well as the underlying purposes and research.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Teacher educators, Mentors