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Don Henson

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About Don Henson

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  1. Oh gosh! How to limit the list to just 10. This is very nearly impossible. However, My top 4 would have to be - A Matter of Life and Death by Powell & Pressburger - seen on a small black & white portable TV when I was a student and made me so excited about the possibilities of cinema I had to go and walk the streets for an hour to calm down! The Red Shoes by Powell & Pressburger Mishima by Paul Shrader Kundun by Martin Scorsese Add - The Lord of the Rings trilogy was one of the best film going experiences ever. Japanese cinema also - Kenji Mizoguchi's films such as - The
  2. History does have a lot of content to include - 2,000 years of documented history in Britain alone (and as an archaeologist I lament the lack of prehistory, which would add another 15,000 years since the last Ice Age!). What has never been done is to assess logically against agreed criteria what content should be the focus of in-depth studies from that whole 2,000 year span (and how do we agree the criteria?). With restricted time available only the most superficial breadth study is possible. Perhaps, we go for a superficial understanding of basic chronology and breadth with selected keyhol
  3. I agree that it is the narrowness of the curricular options that are the problem; the qulaity of teaching itself is excellent. I also agree that assessment needs to be reconsidered. The proposed new 'hybrid' GCSE for history to be piloted in 2005-07 will offer the opportunity to develop activity-based assessment. It will be interesting to see how this works. Donald
  4. Adrian, Sorry not to reply sooner - I've been rather snowed under! I too prefer depth to breadth. But I do think that with history (rather than all subjects in the curriculum) we have sacrificed breadth of historical knowledge and understanding too much. I am not arguing for a history of dates and events but I do think that students should be able to see where particular periods fit within the larger historical picture and be able to compare and contrast similar events in different periods. What is on offer at 14-16 by and large does not build on the excellent teaching of the 5-14 history
  5. Adrian Dingle quite rightly points out the dangers of a curriculum that sacrifices depth for breadth. I do not see them as mutually exclusive. A good curriculum provides both. Why should students at 14+ have a knowledge of history? Two reasons - 1. As far as I am aware, the UK is the only country in Europe that does not make history a compulsory subject at 14-16. 2. Heritage is one of the biggest earners of income for the UK economy. That heirtage needs to be understood and cherished with proper funding and conservation and interpretation. None of this is likely if the majority of ad
  6. Dan, Is the conference about history at 14-19 or 5-14? I work with QCA and others and have heard nothing about the conference. I do know they have asked the Historical Association to do some work on history at 14-19. Is the conference organised by the HA? I would say that we may need to think in new and radical terms about the role of history at 14+. The key challenge is to encourage the 68% of pupils at 14 who currently opt not to do history to take up the subject. I think the way to do this is make history more relevent to their own lives. Relevance is not the same as teaching modern
  7. Hello, I'm Don Henson, Education Officer of the Council for British Archaeology. I have a background in researching British prehistory and have published books on Anglo-Saxon history. My teaching background is in adult education - tutor for Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds Universities over many years. I currently teach on MA courses at Newcastle, York, University College London and Birkbeck College. I spent 6 years as a museum and art gallery education officer dealing with primary and secondary schools as well as comunity outreach. My CBA job covers the whole education spectrum from key st
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