Enquiry questions – the back story!

Over the weekend @LeeDonaghy asked history teachers on @Twitter if ‘an enquiry-focused history curriculum is a bit overrated for KS3’. It’s a good question. History-subject specialists learn from their subject-specialist ITT training that being able to construct an effective enquiry is a breakthrough moment in becoming a history teacher. But why? And how can we explain why?
In response to @LeeDonaghy there followed a lengthy to-ing and fro-ing on the subject between @ArthurJChapman, @apf102, @Counsell_C and others. (You can find it on @Twitter on the 28th January.) Absolutely fascinating, but also assuming large amounts of knowledge of the development of history teaching in this country for about twenty years or so.
This short OBHD blogpost is to point you to the places where you can read people’s thoughts on this topic to date. It will help you to understand the reasoning about historical enquiry so far, to consider the ideas in the light of your own experience and to arrive at your own conclusions.
Way back in 2000, Michael Riley (@Michaelshp) wrote a seminal Teaching History article called: ‘Into the Key Stage 3 History Garden’ about the importance of carefully worded, rigorous enquiry questions. We have made it available here: into_the_history_garden
Since then, many colleagues have developed his thinking. You can find some of the key ‘Teaching History’ articles listed here: NNN (2) and additionally the TH 151 Hall and Counsell article about knowledge and enquiries. You can find all these articles and more at www.history.org.uk and do follow @histassoc for updates.
Ian Dawson (@BearWithOneEar) has also explained his thinking about enquiries here: thinkinghistory.co.uk. And… if you haven’t yet had chance to open the wonderful new HA ‘Teaching Medieval History’ you’ll find a relevant article there too. More about ‘Teaching Medieval History later in the week…

Update! Click here to read the HA’s comment on historical enquiry in response to DfE clarifies reference to enquiry-based learning

 

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