Making history relevant

An active approach that makes history come alive for primary children

In a very packed literacy and numeracy focused school day, the ‘other stuff’ can get almost forgotten in the gallop to the exams post. Other subjects such as history may be joined with geography or have an afternoon slot of 40 minutes every other week. Professor of Outdoor Learning, Helen Bilton and Dr Richard Harris from Reading University acknowledge the difficulties, but think it is all the more reason to help children develop a love of the subject by getting them out of the classroom.

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Philosophy for children

Philosophically speaking: P4C

Philosophy for Children – P4C – is attracting the attention of an increasing number of international schools around the world. One organisation supporting the programme is the British based charity, SAPERE (Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education).  ITM recently spoke to SAPERE CEO, Bob House, about their latest international initiative.

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Can your senior students think and write under pressure?

Five steps to help students develop the planning habit

How many times have you made the comment “It is important to plan your work” at the end of a Grade 11 or 12 (Year 12 & 13) essay? A student who writes without planning often shows that he or she “knows things” but, frustratingly, they have not “used what they know” to write a relevant answer. Here Andy Homden suggests five steps to help students develop “the planning habit” in order to write more effectively.

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Developing independent academic skills, Part 3

 Building a body of knowledge

A_woman_thinkingThe idea of building a memorised body of knowledge has become unfashionable. If we are living in the Knowledge Economy, the knowledge is at our fingertips and accessed on-line. The cloud, it is said, has changed everything: what children are learning at school now will be outdated by the time they leave university, so why bother? Progressive thinkers would regard the learning of more factual knowledge as less important than the development of transferable skills, creativity and critical thinking.

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Developing independent academic skills, 1

Learning independently, linear assessment and language

Why is the ability to learn independently so important? Andy Homden suggests that unless students learn to think for themselves, take the initiative and display the kind of self–discipline that gets things done, they will neither fulfill their potential nor be ready for the expectations of higher education and the world of employment. But – they have to be shown how.

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Developing independent academic skills, 2

Writing independently

Andy Homden 9

The importance of knowing how

Students become independent learners when they know how to do things, but the ability to master increasingly complex tasks at secondary level, takes both time and practice under the right kind of supervision. Planning and then writing an informed and relevant academic answer using properly marshalled evidence in the form of an essay is such a task.

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