Steve Williams

Thinking in the Humanities: Key Stages 2 to 5

An increasing number of schools at key stages 2 and 3 are experimenting with the integration of humanities subjects, often including literature, media studies and citizenship alongside history, geography and RE. One potential pitfall of this trend is that good and knowledgeable subject teaching will be less likely in a mixed environment. On the other hand, there are new opportunities for subjects to influence each other in creative ways, for more time to be available for extended enquiry and for teachers to get to know their pupils better because they are working with them for longer periods.

I think it is important have a philosophical dimension in the humanities in order to explore, in a systematic way, 'big concepts' that are relevant to all humanities subjects. These include freedom, reason, interpretation, evidence, oppression, value, justice, cause, belief, right and duty. The kind of enquiry that is distinctive of Philosophy for Children serves as a good forum not only for exploring concepts but also for discussing controversial topics in the humanities.

Integrated curricula provide excellent opportunities for improving pupils' thinking and writing skills through making time for pupil questioning and classroom dialogue.

I can provide support and training for teachers in planning for conceptual and philosophical enquiry in the humanities. I can also do sessions with pupils in philosophy, thinking skills, and writing in humanities from keys stages 2 to 5.

Glocal Warming

Elizabeth 1