The title above is the question I am trying to answer for my Masters, which appears to be never ending at this point. I am looking at two hypotheses suggested by academics:
1. Local history is great at teaching enquiry skills (working with sources etc.)
2. Local history is great at illustrating national history
For each hypothesis I have designed a scheme of work that directly addresses the issue and then completed focus groups with students. Hypothesis 1 focused on the history of Bristol Docks for Year 11’s controlled assessment and hypothesis 2 focused on learning about the transatlantic slave trade through a very Bristol focus for Year 7. This has been an awful lot of work but some great conclusions are emerging, especially about how children perceive the past. Both Year 7 and Year 11 have discussed how they like local history as they can easily imagine the past by knowing where it is and what it looks like now. One Year 7 girl brilliantly said in kid-speak:
“It kind of puts a picture in your head how it was like if you know where it was.”
I now have the un-ending task of writing this all up which is where I hope you might be able to help!
1. What do you think about the statement – What is the value and purpose of local history?
If I get enough comments I might be able to use these in my dissertation, so please comment away!
2. Do you know of any reading related to any of the above that might help?
If so please also comment below