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Protecting the curriculum jewel of interpretations

Christine Counsell, (University of Cambridge Faculty of Education)

`Interpretations of history` first gained formal curricular presence in the History NC for England and Wales in 1991.  It has never gone away and it returns as a glorious, explicit plural in the 2014 NC.   What have history teachers achieved with it? How have they developed it?  Why is this tradition precious?  Why is it admired abroad?  Why is it always under threat?  What easily goes wrong?  In sum, what are history teachers` responsibilities in continuing to define it, develop it and declare it?

The plenary session was not going to make the teaching of `interpretations` easy or quick, although it did showcase practical approaches.  Rather, it examined why this curriculum component is extraordinarily hard to teach well, why it should stay that way and why we must work together in continuing to try.  The relationship with historical knowledge is crucial, not only in teaching it successfully, but in winning the argument for teaching it at all.

Intended principally for conference delegates, Christine’s PowerPoint is available in Dropbox [ HERE]