What do we know? How do we know? What do they say? Knowledge for history teachers and students!


The name Richard Brown is probably unfamiliar to many people reading this blogpost. But Richard taught for many years, was an editor of Teaching History and is a Fellow of both the HA and the RHS. He has been creating websites for many years and the purpose of this blogpost is to make more history teachers aware of them. They are very much worth exploring if you are not aware of them. You will find knowledge and resources for students, but also to improve your own knowledge, on a wide variety of topics.

I had been, until I took early retirement in 2006, a history teacher and head of department for over thirty years in several comprehensive secondary schools, largely in East Anglia. I was an active member of the Historical Association in the 1980s and 1990s when I co-edited Teaching History.  I also acted as a consultant with different local authorities and central government on educational and political issues.  Since 1980, I have regularly published books (initially in print but more recently as Kindles as well) and articles on history and I am in the process of completing my sixty-sixth book – on Global Ireland 1882-1922. 

My blogs were developed from 2007.  Initially, they allowed me to revise and publish materials that had originally been developed for GCSE and A Level students, as well as trial some of the material that eventually found its way into my publications.  The subject matter in my blogs varies from materials on late eighteenth and nineteenth century British social and economic history, women’s history (1800-1928), Chartism, medieval history (especially the Normans), Australian and Canadian history to the British Empire and resistance to its rule. 

The different posts combine explaining different events and themes, examining their significance and, where necessary, different interpretations. In essence, it is a case of what happened and the process of causation and how these two processes have been interpreted by different writers and historians and why.  What do we know about a particular event in the past; how do we know about a particular event in the past; and in what different ways have that event been interpreted over time?  These are the critical issues that students (at whatever level or ability) need to get to grips with.  I found that teaching History was often best approached initially through story so that the sequencing of an event was clear to students before moving on to looking at sources and historians; so what before why and how…this is, to a degree, reflected in the posts on my blogs.

Here are the links:

Looking at History

History Zone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s