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Huggins, Mike. “An Analysis of the Rationales for Learning History Given by Children and Teachers at Key Stage 2.” The Curriculum Journal 7(3) (1996): 307-21.


Subject knowledge at Key Stage 2 of the English National Curriculum has recently assumed increased importance, leading, to an increased research interest in the forms of subject content knowledge and pedagogic content knowledge employed by teachers. This paper examines the extent to which teachers and pupils were aware of a specific subject curriculum rationale. The paper discusses the findings of an enquiry into the extent to which non-specialist teachers (n = 40), initial teacher training students (n = 46) and Key Stage 2 pupils in four primary schools exhibited an understanding of the reasons why history should be studied, following the introduction of the National Curriculum for history in 1991. Results showed that experienced teachers had a tacit understanding of the aims of history produced by the National Curriculum Council, although students' understandings were less well developed. Teachers had succeeded in transmitting some key ideas about why history should be studied to their pupils, although differences between schools show that teaching makes a difference. However, some pupils had only sketchy ideas about why they studied the subject or did not find it exciting or enjoyable.

The Curriculum Journal