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Teaching History in the Secondary School: approaches, multiculturalism and writing skills. November 13, 2016

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This book focuses on three basic notions which are extremely important in history teaching.  First of all what approach should a history teacher adopt, that is, what pedagogy or methodology to use.  This decision is fundamental before any teaching can occur.  Long gone are the days when ‘knowing the story’ and ‘telling it’ to a class is sufficient.  Effective history teaching needs a well-trained teacher who is strong both in subject knowledge and in pedagogical subject skills.  Making history accessible to adolescents and developing historical understanding in pupils needs specialised training.  Therefore the first two chapters debate precisely the hazards of certain approaches and the benefits of others.

Similarly to most European countries Malta today is a multicultural society and teaching any subject in such an environment needs a bit of extra thought.  All democratic politicians, educators and consultants exalt the benefits of living in a multicultural society.   However, what can a history teacher do?   Unfortunately we are rich in rhetoric but poor in practical ideas of how to promote multiculturalism in any classroom let alone specifically in history lessons.  So the second part of the book is in fact presenting two personal research attempts (chapter 3 and chapter 4) in the local context to try and find ways how history can foster and stimulate pupils to think about multiculturalism.

Throughout the author’s years  as a history pedagogist she has watched and participated in various wonderful history lessons where pupils were very much engaged in learning, and participated fully in resource rich lessons with tasks focused on interpretation and evidence analysis.  Unfortunately there were several occasions where these same lessons were followed by writing activities and it was here that the pupils floundered.  The work produced by the pupils was not up to standard.  The author tried to solve this anomaly and researched various work on how pupils’ writing can be improved.  Anybody learning and studying history cannot escape from writing in history;  it is part and parcel of the subject.  Inevitably you are going to face occasions where you need to be able to read and understand fairly long complex text and in turn you need to produce written text.   Therefore as their dissertation tutor the author took the opportunity to encourage two of her history teacher trainees to try out various techniques which would hopefully produce better written pupil feedback and better pupil understanding of written text.  The last part of this book (chapter 5 and chapter 6) are two papers  the author wrote, based on the work carried out in these dissertations.  They were successful in both supporting pupils’ writing in history (Rosaline Caruana’s B.Ed Dissertation) and pupils’ understanding of history written text (Kimberly Caruana’s B.Ed Dissertation).

So this book brings together Prof Yosanne Vella’s most recent research in history teaching and while by no means offering permanent solutions it is hoped that this book contributes to the ongoing quest to find the best pedagogy for history teachers to use.

One can download the e-book for free from the link http://euroclio.eu/voice/download-teaching-history-in-the-secondary-school/

This is another book published by the History Teachers’ Association Malta

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M.A. Sant Memorial Lecture 2009 October 19, 2009

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Diversity in History Teaching: putting people back in the frame

MA Sant Memorial Lecture 2009

On the 28th of October, the History Teachers’ Association together with Faculty of Education within the University of Malta will be organising the eight edition of the Michael A. Sant Memorial Lecture. The lecturer this year will be given by Ian Philips who will be discussing diversity in history teaching.

Philips is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University on the outskirts of Liverpool where he is course leader for the History Post Graduate Education programme. His research focuses on the effective use of Information Technologies in the history classroom and the role of diversity and empathy in history teaching

During the lecture, Ian Phillips will look at humanity and will examine how this looks back at itself. Teachers need to help their students focus on the realities of the past, but at the same time they need to remember that the story of each and every individual is different. It is based on particular circumstances, historical eras, and perceptions. Phillips will consider various aspects of humanity and how these have affected the realities of people. Thus he will focus on diversity, war, religion, ethnicity and multiculturalism. The lecture should appeal to teachers and students of the social sciences, researchers in pedagogy and methodology of teaching and learning, historians and other social scientists, but also to those among the general public who are interested in finding out about who we are and from where we have come – from a historical point of view.

The lecture will be held at the National Curriculum Centre, Ħamrun at 5.45pm. Teachers and the general public are cordially invited. Those attending the lecture will be given a copy of the paper by Ian Philips. For more information please contact the President of the HTA (Malta) Dr. George Cassar on the e-mail address george.cassar@um.edu.mt.

History Teachers’ Association Annual General Meeting June 3, 2009

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History Teachers’ Association Annual General Meeting

 

On the 10th of June, the History Teachers’ Association is organising its Annual General Meeting.  During the meeting, the committee will present its report for the last year. Those attending will also be given information about the efforts being done by the Association to protect the learning of History in our schools with regards to the present reform in education.  Information about the book From the coming of the Knights to EU membership can also be obtained during the meeting.  The AGM will be held at the Boardroom of the Faculty of Education (Room 326), University of Malta at 3.00 pm.  The AGM is open to HTA members only but other teachers may contact the president of the Association on the e-mail address george.cassar@um.edu.mt for more information

Meeting with the Minister May 5, 2009

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On the 24th of April, the Hon. Minister of Education Dolores Cristina was presented with the book From the coming of the Knights to EU membership by the Dr George Cassar, president of the History Teachers’ Association Malta (publishers of the book) and   Dr. Yosanne Vella, editor of the book.  The book is mainly intended for students taking history as their optional subject at Form 3.  Readers are presented with a rich variety of texts, visual and written source materials and a wealth of tasks and questions giving them the opportunity to learn Maltese history in a modern way while developing their concepts and skills.  For more information one can contact the editor on her email address: yosanne.vella@um.edu.mt

New Book - Presentation to Minister of Education

New Book - Presentation to Minister of Education

History Options Textbook April 30, 2009

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The history options textbook can be bought by filling this form:

History Textbook Leaflet Order