chapter  5
27 Pages

Teaching, and researching the teaching of, a history topic: an experiment in collaboration*

ByPeter Woods

All the teachers involved expressed grave doubt as to whether they would be able to mount similar 'critical' exercises within the National Curriculum. The work had the added attraction of the researchers trying to help the teacher to be (even) more successful. It was in an area - history - in which the teacher felt there to be a problem. The philosophy behind the teaching might be described as 'pragmatic constructivism'. It was constructivist in its holism, child-centredness, teacher guidance, belief in involvement and discovery, children's ownership of their own learning, and emphasis on evidence. The educational principles on which the project was based were implicit in the teacher's personal practical philosophy. The aims of teaching and research were closely interlocked. Part of the researcher's main objective was to ensure the success of the topic - exactly the teacher's aim. Teacher and researcher roles meshed together to form one organic role that was greater than the sum of its parts.