Teaching and Learning in the School of Humanities: The Department of History Introduces the Third-Year Module History Education (HS3HED): Dr Rebecca Rist (School Director of Teaching and Learning) interviews the module convenor, Dr Elizabeth Matthew

1.       Why has the Department of History decided to introduce the third-year module History Education?
The idea for History Education arose from two coincidental events in mid-January 2011.  A message landed in my inbox calling for applications for Faculty of Arts and Humanities ‘Think Space’ funding for curriculum-development projects to enhance student employability.  Earlier the same day I had seen media coverage of league tables ranking secondary schools by the number of students gaining GCSE passes at A*–C in English, maths, two sciences, a classical or modern foreign language, and either geography or history.  With this new EBacc (English Baccalaureate) measure of performance raising the profile of history in schools, the ‘Think Space’ scheme seemed an ideally timed opportunity to consider a new initiative to help some of our students enter careers in history education. Having close links with the Historical Association (the subject association for history at primary and secondary level) as past president of the local branch in Reading and a current member of the HA Council, I was also keen to offer some practical support for history in schools.  I knew that the university’s Chemistry Department already offered its students credit-bearing placements in local schools.  I wanted the History Department to do this too, ahead of any similar moves within BA History programmes at competitor universities in the south of England.

Continue reading →

Embedding Employability in the Department of History: Historic Themes in Practice by Professor Lindy Grant

The Department of History has been running a module for Part 2 students called Historic Themes in Practice (HTP) for the last three years. It is an innovative module in conception, organisation and structure. It is designed to make second year students enlarge their views of career possibilities, particularly within the heritage sector, and learn to work together in teams to bring a group project to fruition: in short it is designed to embed employability into the teaching of history. And it takes employability one stage further. Every year, the options from which students choose their group project includes at least one group placement, working to a brief provided by an institution within the heritage sector.

This all sounds like a bit like heavy corporate-speak, so how does this module run? What do the students actually do? Continue reading →