Articles on History Education

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History in schools is not engaging our students. History class image from

Stop tinkering with school history, and start teaching it

In 2008, historian Dr. Anna Clark conducted a survey of the state of history education in Australian classrooms. The book that resulted from this study — History’s Children — presented a bleak image of…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled he’d like to see the history curriculum change. But is it a good idea for government to intervene? AAP Image/AFP Pool, Saeed Khan

Culture wars II: why Abbott should leave the history curriculum alone

In the last week of the campaign, some naggingly familiar comments came out from the Coalition. Then opposition leader Tony Abbott said he wanted to see the national curriculum in history changed because…
There are some powerful stories in the Anzac tradition but many more that are unknown to students. Australian War Memorial

Teaching the untold stories of World War I

“What are your legs? Springs. Steel springs”. Archy’s nervous mutterings before he sprints into gunfire are familiar in Australian history classes. So are the tale of Simpson and Duffy and their “bravest…
Why is it that we no longer teach the big story of how everything came to be? Universe image from

Big History: why we need to teach the modern origin story

All human societies construct and teach creation myths or origin stories. These are large, extraordinarily powerful, but often ramshackle narratives that try and tell the story of how everything came to…
Australian humanities subjects need to get on board with MOOCs and develop Australian voices in online learning. World image from

Deadset? MOOCs and Australian education in a globalised world

FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: We continue our series on the rise of online and blended learning and how free online courses are set to transform the higher education sector. Today Ruth Morgan looks at the…
By deliberately making false historical sources, students can learn to think more critically. Historical hoax image

Teaching students to lie: historical method through hoaxes

What happens when you teach students how to lie? Answer: they become better historians. More than a decade ago, back in the days of Web 0.5, a student of mine submitted a generally well-written essay on…
If the same parts of Australian history are taught over and over again, we shouldn’t be surprised that students lose interest. Flickr/murphyeppoon

Beat-ups aside, Australian history has a future

Buried away in the correspondence columns of last week’s Sunday Age, a former history teacher’s letter “Where’s our history?” started an intense and confused debate about a “threat” by the national curriculum…

Teaching history without the books

Replacing textbooks with songs, diaries and illustrations improves the learning outcomes of history students, research from…

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