The Abuses of History: some steps towards avoiding distress in the History classroom

Adam Robertson suggests that history teachers are, by exposing their classes to violent or graphic media, potentially distressing their most vulnerable pupils, and that by carefully considering  such pupils’ subjectivity, and by returning agency to them, history teachers could begin to take steps to avoid repeating such mistakes.

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If you were to force a child to sit down and watch a potentially distressing video, on pain of punishment should they leave the room, you would rightly be labelled an abuser. Yet this appears to happen in classrooms across the country in the name of teaching by ‘shock’, and of exposing students to the horrors of, for example, the Holocaust in the hope that they are less likely to willingly facilitate similar such atrocities in the future. Continue reading “The Abuses of History: some steps towards avoiding distress in the History classroom”