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The Education Forum

Carol Adams and Women's History

John Simkin

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Carol Adams died of cancer last week. In the early 1980s she was a very important figure in history teaching. Carol pioneered the idea of teaching women’s history in the classroom. At the time Carol managed the ILEA Resource Centre. Influenced by the work of Tressell Publications, she encouraged local teachers to produce materials that covered subjects such as women’s history. I was invited down to the ILEA Resource Centre where I gave talks to teachers about what we were doing at Tressell. Over the years, we both promoted each other’s work.

Carol later went on to edit the ground-breaking Women in History series for Cambridge University Press. This was the first time a mainstream publisher got involved in this kind of work. The books in the series never sold in great numbers but it did help teachers to teach this subject with professional looking materials.

Unfortunately, in the 1990s lost her radicalism. She became director of education in Wolverhampton. Later, she held a similar post in Shropshire. In 2000 she became chief executive of the General Teaching Council (GTC). Despite this, I will remember her for the good work she did in the early part of her career.

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