Originally posted on RadicalHistory:
Like many others from the history teaching community I recently attended the West London Free School conference. The main message which was evident in the tweets from the day and blogs write ups after was ‘all hail the return of knowledge’. As Christine Counsell said in her opening lecture with the move to a more progressive pedagogy in the 80s and 90s some practitioners had thrown ‘the baby out with the bath water’ and left knowledge languishing, where some have left it while they focus on skills instead. I can see some merit in this view. I’ve seen some horrors undertaken with pipe cleaners and play d’oh. I’ve suffered wearing DeBono’s blooming hats. I have had to do sodding brain gym.
As someone that is very passionate about the progression of my subject and the way it is taught nationwide I am glad that people are talking about knowledge again. I am chuffed that people are discussing how we can bring recent scholarship into the classroom. As a lover of stories I am over the moon that people are considering how we can use micro and macro narratives in the classroom.
But I have my concerns…