1st Edition

Teaching History in a Neoliberal Age Policy, Agency and Teacher Voice

By Mary Woolley Copyright 2020
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores changing practice in history classrooms from the autonomy of the 1980s through the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum to the prescription of the National Strategies and the pervasive influence of league tables in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It uses individual narratives from history teachers to shed light on a changing profession.

    Showcasing research that is crucial reading for leaders in education, it uses oral accounts from 13 experienced teachers to provide a rich testimony of the constraints and affordances acting on history teachers. The book offers a unique perspective to show how teachers experienced steady but substantial changes in policy and autonomy and how this affected their practice; this detail enhances an analysis of policy and curricular documents across three decades. The findings are crucial for educational settings today, facing crises of teacher recruitment and teacher retention.

    This book will be of great interest to academics and higher degree research students in history education, history of education and education policy. It will also be of interest to beginning history teachers and senior school leaders responsible for teacher development and curriculum.

    List of tables


    List of abbreviations


    Chapter 1 Debating history education

    Chapter 2 Exploring teacher voice

    Chapter 3 The historical and global context

    Chapter 4 Freedom and choice 1985 to 1990

    Chapter 5 Enacting the National Curriculum 1991 to 2011

    Chapter 6 Enacting policies beyond the National Curriculum 1991 to 2011

    Chapter 7 Collaboration, textbooks and technology 1985 to 2011

    Chapter 8 Conclusions


    Mary Woolley is Senior Lecturer in Education at Canterbury Christ Church University.