TLO 2: Demonstrate an Understanding of a Variety of Conceptual Approaches to Interpreting the Past

  • Zora SimicEmail author


This chapter firstly argues that teachers should communicate a well-guided, yet flexible understanding of what constitutes a ‘conceptual approach to interpreting the past’ that is able to evolve and deepen as students progress through their history degree, as well as animate interest in the discipline. Each level of university teaching then presents its own opportunities and challenges in terms of introducing students to a broad range of conceptual approaches. Secondly, through three case studies that cover three levels of university teaching and three distinct fields of historiography, it is argued that it is easier to embed a variety of conceptual approaches to the past in course content than to assess students in terms of their capacity to demonstrate comprehension of these. Nevertheless, with inductive teaching and a strong conceptual basis for each course, students should be able, by semester’s end, to demonstrate ‘an understanding of a variety of conceptual approaches to interpreting the past’ in both explicit and implicit ways. As such, the onus is on teachers to assess student work in a nuanced, course-specific and student-centred fashion, rather than apply crude measures of attainment.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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