Factors influencing pupil take-up of history post Key Stage 3: an exploratory enquiry

Teaching History article

By Richard Harris and Terry Haydn, published 19th July 2009

‘30% is not bad considering ...'

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Last year, in Teaching History 132, Richard Harris and Terry Haydn shared their findings from a research project exploring children's views of school history. Here they report on further research, seeking to explain the wide variation that they found in the proportion of pupils who opt to continue their study of history beyond Key Stage 3. Drawing on interviews with history teachers, subject advisors and teacher educators as well as  statistical data from two local authorities, they offer a fascinating survey of factors that seem to influence pupils' decisions about history. While some lie beyond the scope of individual teachers, and so can only point to a need for effective lobbying, many lie well within the compass of history teachers and their departments. They demonstrate the rich opportunities we still have - through our curriculum planning and day-to-day teaching - to inspire interest in, and commitment to, the subject...

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