History Lessons: Inequality, Diversity and the National Curriculum

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This article explores the continued importance of teaching a diverse curriculum at a time when issues of racial and ethnic equality and diversity have been increasingly side-lined in the political discussion around ‘British’ values and identities, and how these should be taught in schools. The 2014 History National curriculum, in particular, provoked widespread controversy around what British history is, who gets included in this story and how best to engage young people in increasingly diverse classrooms with the subject. The new curriculum provides both opportunities for, and constraints on, addressing issues of racial and ethnic equality and diversity, but how these are put into practice in an increasingly fragmented school system remains less clear. Drawing on the findings of two research projects in schools across England and Wales, this article examines the challenges and opportunities facing teachers and young people in the classroom in the teaching and learning of diverse British histories. We argue that it is not only the content of what children and young people are taught in schools that is at issue, but how teachers are supported to teach diverse curricula effectively and confidently.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-494
Number of pages17
JournalRace, Ethnicity and Education
Issue number4
Early online date28 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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