From ‘double vision’ to panorama: exploring interpretations of Nazi popularity

Teaching History article

By James Carroll, published 5th October 2017

Using history of memory to bridge ‘event space’ when exploring interpretations of Nazi popularity with Year 13

Jim Carroll relished the opportunity, in the new A-level specification he was teaching, to find an effective way of teaching his students to analyse interpretations in their coursework essays. Reflecting on the difficulties he had faced as a trainee teacher teaching younger pupils about interpretations, and dissatisfied with examination board advice to prepare students by teaching generic skills of analysis, Carroll turned to the professional literature on teaching about interpretations. Taking inspiration from the work of Jane Card, among others, he shares here the teaching sequence he devised, explaining how he sought to develop, in his students, the substantive knowledge they needed to explain the evolving interpretations put forward by historians of the Nazi regime. Carroll shows how this knowledge manifested itself in his students’ written work, and concludes by identifying several different types of substantive knowledge which can support students’ understanding of interpretations...

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