Diversify your history teaching with more help from #OBHD

This blog post continues our efforts to help teachers to connect with excellent curriculum thinking and resources about teaching a more diverse past. In this blogpost we want to feature two new resources:

LGBTQ+ History

Feburary is LGBT History Month and the link takes you to a website that helps share the aims of the month and some useful resources. Claire Holliss (@CitoyenneClaire) makes the key point in her recent freshalarums blogpost that: “in an ideal world there would be better integration of these topics in the curriculum year-round, but with the continual pressure on curriculum time, [LGBT Month] remains a valuable space for us to introduce stories that would otherwise not be explored.” As an excellent history teacher, Claire has thought hard about how to introduce her students to some of the fascinating historical questions that historians of sexuality and gender are currently grappling with. There is a rich and important story of change and continuity over time to be told. Claire has kindly shared her work on a timeline of attitudes to sexuality and gender. She has also designed and shared three concept maps that allow students to dig into particular periods and answer some key questions that enable them to to explore the differences between the beliefs of each period and of their own. She modestly calls this just a starting point in the process of making her “teaching of the history of sexuality and gender as historically rigorous as my teaching of the history of the Reformation or of the Cold War; both during LGBT History Month but better still, throughout the rest of the year.” Claire also kindly provides a reading list for teachers to improve their subject knowledge.

Polish connections with Britain

Many teachers have students who are Polish, or of Polish origin in their classroom. How often do they see their past in our classrooms? Is their past in our classrooms confined to being victims of Nazism? There is so much more to the connections between Britain and Poland and the people who have made them. A new project has been launched to coincide with the centenary commemorations of Poland regaining its independence. Schools Project on Poland has three stages. Schools can do one, two, or all of them. Stage One is called ‘Context’. It is a one lesson focus on the Polish diaspora to the UK with the question: ‘How have Polish people enriched my life?’ Stage Two is called ‘Connect’. It supports teachers who want to set up a small oral history project so that students can meet and learn from people of Polish origin in their local community. Stage Three is a challenge to take on a community project to bring people together to celebrate the positive effects of Polish-British connections. History teachers may just want to use the resources of the first stage to bring some of the story of Poland to their students. However, for schools who do partcipate in the whole project, there is a reception to be hosted at the Polish Embassy in September this year. All details are on the website.

Please do bring to our attention other excellent ideas and resources for teaching a more diverse past and we will share them via the blog. You can do this by linking with the HA on Facebook or @histassoc or via www.history.org.uk.


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