Yesterday I joined a room full of other history teachers who had come from far and wide (including Romania!) for the first #TMHistoryIcons - A day long event focussed on sharing ideas around the teaching of the best subject on the timetable!
While not a typical Teachmeet (and it’s becoming harder to say what one of those is), I thought it was an excellent day. The sponsorship was by companies who had something useful and interesting to bring to the table and hearing Kevin Hicks talk about bringing the reality of his experience of serving as a British solider to young people really was a great way to start the day.
I’m going not to attempt to sum up what happened. There was way too many amazing ideas shared to do justice to that. Rather, I thought I’d reflect on some of the themes that seemed to me to emerge from several of the speakers.
Hooking pupils -
Many people talked about the importance of a hook to engage pupils and get them thinking about such a wide variety of topic, be that through drama or photographs or linking the subject to a place or person that they know.
The creation of deep learning -
So many of these ideas where really pushing students to engage with topics in a deep way, rather than simply trotting through an atomised chronology.
The importance of the big picture -
Something I’ve been very aware of as something I perhaps wasn’t doing so well, and something I’d like to do better next year. I loved Scott Alsop's idea of using the pictures from old text books and getting students to work out what the topic was going to be about, and how the areas were interlinked.
Students as independent learners and content creators -
For all the concerns expressed by some on Twitter about the issues around ‘progressive’ or ‘child centred’ learning, it seemed to me that so many of the speakers had found a good balance between delivering the key content to students and them allowing them to explore further themselves.
A final point which I don’t think any of the speakers made during their talks, but which was a common theme in conversation was the scale at which you can implement new ideas. I’ve written before about our mantra of one teacher, one class, one tool when it came to adoption of digital technology, but actually it would seem equally applicable when trying out a new pedagogy too.
My huge thanks to the organisers, the sponsors and everyone who spoke at the event.Well worth the journey!
You can find all the tweets from the day here - storify.com/davestacey/tmhistoryicons
You can find a link to the resources for my presentation here - blog.mrstacey.org.uk/?p=1101
Image: Me, pontificating in my StaffRm T-Shirt! Credit: HexatexEDU