Learning to teach history writing: discovering what works

Harris, Richard J. and Foreman-Peck, Lorraine (2001) Learning to teach history writing: discovering what works Educational Action Research, 9, (1), pp. 97-109. (doi:10.1080/09650790100200141).


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Statistics indicated under achievement by 18-year old Advanced (A) level history students in a mixed comprehensive school, by comparison with their results in the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) at 16. Further investigation highlighted a weakness in essay writing. A teaching strategy was developed to improve essay writing by (a) clarifying the purpose of essay writing; (b) enhancing essay structuring; (c) ensuring students obtained a firm understanding of the topics studied; and (d) providing students with appropriate study skills to enable them to work effectively. An action plan which drew heavily on the ideas of phenomenography (Hounsell, 1984, 1987), was devised to tackle these areas. The results of students who were taught in this way and who took their examinations in 1998 showed a dramatic improvement over the previous three years

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09650790100200141
ISSNs: 0965-0792 (print)
Keywords: history teaching, essay writing, sixth form teaching, action research
ePrint ID: 12447
Date :
Date Event
March 2001Published
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2004
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 23:53
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/12447

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