Paul Bracey

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Many years ago a teacher recounted to me a lesson they had taught ostensibly about the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381.* The ‘extension’ task was to make a drawing that would reflect what had been learnt. One child had a less than tenuous grasp of what had been taught and not only confused ‘peasants’ with ‘pheasants’ but was unclear about what the latter looked like and drew what resembled a turkey! It was not the teacher’s finest lesson on a number of levels.

This is an extreme case but even when both teachers and children are fully engaged can we be certain that misunderstandings do not take place? Dealing with distortions and misunderstandings is also an important skill in the history lesson and beyond. These considerations are explored in what is the first of two important articles that consider ‘What confuses primary pupils in history?’ Tim Lomas provides strategies to deal with a wide range of issues that can inhibit effective learning about the past. His current article deals with confusions which arise where children have insufficient knowledge to understand a topic or have a misunderstanding related to chronology or anachronism. Three further areas of potential confusion will be dealt with in Issue 79.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrimary History
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018


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