Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Holding up a big mirror

So, this is my first foray into Blogging.  I've long written my thoughts about teaching, learning and life in general, but I'd never before considered sharing them with the world.  I suppose it comes from encouraging my PGDE students to do so much reflecting that I started reflecting on this 'scale'.

I have no idea where my Blog will go, but I'm planning to do something as and when I need to exorcise...

For now, I've been thinking about consequences.  We're always going on about them to children of all ages (especially in terms of positive behaviour management), but I think it's only very recently that I've truly understood the importance.  I suppose it comes with all the emotions of being a fairly new Dad, but I don't think I ever really considered how much the past impacts on my present and future.  Must be another sign of getting old.

This led me to thinking that this is a vital life skill that History (among others) helps develop.  If History can do one thing, surely it can help learners realise that the past - our past - does impact on all our futures. So, how do we make sure that the next generation - the ones who don't remember 9/11, let alone the Cold War - appreciate the need to change things for the better?  Again, perhaps this is hitting home of late due to the current ITE focus on Global Citizenship.  One of the students mentioned something that resonated with me: "Surely children need to be citizens before they can be Global Citizens...?"  I couldn't agree more, and clearly part of this is that we all need to appreciate that our actions have consequences.

Thus, I conclude this first ramble by thinking of ways of teaching consequence, mostly as a History teacher, but in general terms too.  Perhaps the emphasis should be on examining global historical issues as an analogy for personal issues too?  Could we think of ways of, say, teaching about co-operation and conflict as a tool to developing personal social relationships in classrooms?  Maybe that's all a bit too 'Modern Studies-ish' for a History teacher!

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