‘A means to an end’: supporting beginning teachers’ planning for historical learning

Victoria Crooks

University of Nottingham; History Teacher Educator Network

Laura London

University of East Anglia, Norwich; History Teacher Educator Network

Lesson planning is a complex decision-making process. With so many difficult choices to make, beginning teachers can sometimes lose sight of the historical purpose of their lesson planning. This session will explore practical strategies for supporting beginning teachers to navigate the planning process, recognising and designing ‘high value’ activities that privilege pupils’ historical learning, before implementing them effectively into their history teaching.

Friday: 10.45–11.45

Teacher educators, Mentors

Lightbulb or roadmap? How engagement with historical scholarship changes practice and how we can help

Siobhan Dickens

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

This session will consider how, why, when and under what circumstances historical scholarship is a stimulus for teacher development and change in practice. Based on the findings of a systematic review of Teaching History articles over the last eight years, it will introduce attendees to theories of professional change drawn from the learning sciences as a tool for gaining deeper insights into how historical scholarship shapes teacher development. Finally, it will open up discussion about not only how local context shapes teachers’ likelihood of engaging with historical scholarship, but also the benefits that it can have. We will discuss what we can we learn from these articles about how novice teachers can get started with engaging with historical scholarship, and what support structures we need to build to maximise the benefits.

Friday: 12.00–13.00

Mentors, Teacher educators, Post-16, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3

From reading to historical literacy: enabling our trainee teachers to develop critical classrooms

Cat Batch

Teach First, Birmingham

We all know that to be good historians, we must appraise and critique the existing evidence and interpretative approaches. The question then is how do we construct and consider our ITE provision to ensure that we are developing this in our trainees’ history classrooms? This session aims to explore the challenges and barriers to trainee teachers, mentors and teacher educators when embedding criticality in lessons and lesson sequencing. It will draw from research, evidence-based practice and pedagogies surrounding engaged and critical reading in the classroom, and the ways in which those involved with ITE can support early career teachers to create consistent and impactful historical literacy.

Friday: 14.00–15.00

Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Post-16, Teacher educators, Mentors

Assessing PGCE students’ subject knowledge in relation to Early Years and primary history

Emily Davies

University of Warwick, Coventry

This workshop is a chance for teacher educators to come together and share good practice and questions when it comes to assessing the history subject knowledge of their Early Years and primary PGCE students. Following on from the developments in this area in the PGCE department of the University of Warwick, Emily will share the successes of (and barriers to) assessing subject knowledge and, in turn, how this supports Early Years and primary PGCE students on their teacher training journeys. The session will first explore the changes made to the PGCE department at the University, before opening it up to the participants to share their own practices and questions. The aim of this session is for teacher educators to consider their current practices, share what works well for them and collaborate together to consider solutions to barriers.  

Friday: 16.30–17.30

Teacher educators

‘Building their knowledge’: using LEGO and drawings to explore how trainee history teachers develop

Simon Thompson and Richard McFahn

University of Sussex, Falmer

In this session, two history educators will share their experiences of using drawing and model-building as pedagogic tools to explore how beginning teachers’ perceptions of the knowledges, qualities and skills required to teach history evolve. Particular emphasis is given to how  student teachers move beyond simplistic (mis)understandings of their discipline’s distinctive nature, purpose and form to develop complex, sophisticated, epistemic models of teaching history. The presentation will reference original qualitative research and published scholarship, as well as authentic teaching activities to contextualise, illustrate and make sense of professional learning and the enduring value of reflective practice. Come ready to SERIOUS(ly) PLAY®, with LEGO® to build, share and compare your own insights into the state of contemporary history teaching.

Saturday: 10.45–11.45

Teacher educators, Mentors

Securing our histories: how Wales has secured the teaching of Black and minority ethnic histories

Yvonne Roberts-Ablett

Fitzalan High School, Cardiff; Welsh Government

Since the enacting of the Curriculum for Wales (2021) Act, the teaching of Welsh and Black and minority ethnic histories has become mandatory in all schools and settings. This workshop will support an understanding of how Wales has become the first UK home nation to do this, through expert support and co-construction approaches with practitioners across Wales. It will demonstrate the importance of curriculum design in shaping school-led curricula, representing all learners across Wales. It will introduce you to the concept of ‘Cynefin’ – using our Welsh-language roots to enable all learners in Wales to feel that they belong and are reflected in a curriculum that helps them to understand who they are through supporting and understanding of their ‘roots and wings’.

Saturday: 12.00–13.00

Early Years, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Cross-phase/transition, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, Post-16, Teacher educators, Mentors

Acknowledging and disrupting whiteness in history education

David Rawlings

University of Bristol

This session will explore the concept of whiteness within the materialities (sites, institutions and systems), epistemologies (knowledges and ways of knowing) and feelings associated with history education and history teacher education.

The intention of the session is to provide a disruption or intervention to the reproduction of whiteness within history education and history teacher education, whiteness being defined as a learned phenomenon that perpetuates systems of white hegemony. The workshop will support colleagues to reflect on the role that whiteness plays within history education, drawing on the experiences of minoritised teachers and teacher educators. It will then consider the ways in which history education might help us to disrupt reproductions of whiteness and help us to conceive of an education for a reparative future.

Saturday: 14.00–15.00

Teacher educators, Mentors

Annual Sponsor

Conference Sponsors

Conference Sponsor


Tel: +44 (0) 1904 702165

The Historical Association, c/o Mosaic Events
Tower House, Mill Lane, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FS