Announcing… ‘What’s the Wisdom On…’

Here at the Historical Association we are very excited to announce the launch of a new regular feature to the secondary journal ‘Teaching History’. ‘What’s the Wisdom On‘ will join the other popular series, such as ‘New, Novice and Nervous’ and ‘Polychronicon’.

It’s purpose is to provide new(-ish) history teachers with a short guide to the ‘story so far’ of many years of practice-based professional thinking about a particular aspect of history teaching. The first one takes causation as its theme.

In the four page article you will find a summary of what is meant by causation in the history classroom, practical conclusions that have been drawn from this by people who have written in Teaching History over the years, the implications for your practice, practical teaching ideas and suggestions for further reading.

For new teachers and for their mentors it therefore synthesises key messages from Teaching History articles, blogs and other publications. The range of practical planning suggestions are suitable for any key stage and the basic reading essentials for new professionals are signposted

‘What’s the Wisdom On’ is also likely to be very helpful for more experienced teachers needing to sharpen up their disciplinary conceptual thinking. It can be quite hard, in the middle of a busy day, to get the words together to counter colleagues who think ‘explain’, as often linked to Bloom’s, is all we need to think about when explaining in history lessons. Now you can reach for a couple sentences from ‘What’s the Wisdom On’… “An important thing for new history teachers to remember is that causal explanation is nothing to do with the more general meaning of ‘explaining’ in the sense of ‘explication’, expounding, setting out or giving more detail. Instead, think of the expression, ‘How do you explain that?’ It usually means ‘Why did this thing come about?’, as opposed to explaining how a bicycle works or explaining what the Treaty of Versailles was…” So helpful for busy teachers to be able to easily articulate the particular in the discipline of history.

This first ‘What’s the Wisdom On‘ will be available to all registered users of the HA website. From then on you will be able to find another in each print edition of Teaching History and the collection in the secondary membership area of the website. If you haven’t already, do join the HA so you don’t miss out!


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