Have just got back from the brilliant Schools History Project Conference #SHP12. What a way to restore one’s faith in education.
I don’t mind admitting that before this weekend I was beginning to get depressed with the endless bad stories in the press about schools and teachers letting kids down. This media onslaught was actually getting to me.
But by spending the weekend with 250 truly inspiring history teachers I feel sooo much better. I loved to way Ben Walsh and Chris Culpin in their different plenarys both made sense of the nonsense that is going on the world of curriculum reform and political meddling.
I enjoyed kicking off the conference with Neil, getting everyone in the lecture theatre ‘back to back’ drawing The Worker in the Swastika State poster and then ‘walking around the source’.
This lesson will be available in the Lessons section of the site later this week. Neil’s great Cold War lesson is already available.
I loved getting dirt under my fingernails and finding evidence from 1000 years ago by digging in a random 30 cm deep hole outside a halls of residence. It was great to have our own Timeteam expert on hand to make sense of it all – what a privilege.
Where else could you spend one hour digging around in the dirt looking for historical evidence, and the next carrassing an ipad and connecting it to macbook air working out how best to use them in the history classroom? Thanks Nick Dennis.
I loved Ian Dawson’s brilliant Saturday night extravaganza. Genuinely hysterical.There were loads of great teaching ideas here just below the surface. See Ian’s great website for more: www.thinkinghistory.co.uk My particular favourite was Dale Banham’s decade in 150 words a la Kynaston…probably because Dale’s 1980s reminded me so much for my own youth, but mainly because it was such a bloody great idea. This can be found in Hodder’s Dynamic Learning:Task 5.2 on SHP Year 9 DL. You can sign up for a 60 day free trial.
Most of all I loved being surronded by a community of such talented people who are all passionate and committed to history education. In this time of such uncertainty it was a real boost. It reminded me of how proud I am to be a history teacher and what a brilliant job so many unsung history heroes are doing in classrooms up and down the country.
Thankyou SHP and thankyou Michael Riley for your calm, assured, intelligent and yet humble approach. Ever since I first attended a Riley SHP conference workshop back in 2000 on ‘how to teach local history’ I have been inspired.
Check out the SHP blog for more http://www.schoolshistoryproject.org.uk/blog/2012/07/shp-conference-2012-off-to-a-great-start/