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What is historical significance


Considering the significance of events, people and developments in their ... decision-making, yet he is still regarded as the saviour of Britain in 1940. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What is historical significance

What is historical significance?
  • Key concept 1.5 Significance
  • Considering the significance of events, people
    and developments in their historical context and
    in the present day.
  • The National Curriculum 2007

  • Key concept 1.5 Significance
  • From the Explanatory note.
  • This includes
  • considering why judgements about the
    significance of historical events, causes and
    people have changed over time
  • identifying the criteria and values used to
    attribute significance
  • and assessing how these have been used in past
    and present descriptions and explanations.
  • The National Curriculum 2007

Key concept 1.5 Significance
The National Curriculum 2007
Using criteria Partingtons model What makes
an event significant is dependent upon the
following factors 1. Importance to people
living at the time 2. Profundity how deeply
peoples lives were affected by it 3. Quantity
how many lives were affected 4. Durability for
how long peoples lives were affected 5.
Relevance the extent to which the event has
contributed to an increased understanding of
present life
  • Using criteria Christine Counsells model
  • An event/development is significant if they are
  • Remarkable it was remarked upon by people at
    the time and/or since
  • Remembered it was important at some stage in
    history within the collective memory of a group
    or groups
  • Resulted in change it had consequences for the
  • Resonant people like to make analogies with it
    it is possible to connect with experiences,
    beliefs or situations across time space
  • Revealing of some other aspect of the past

  • Using criteria Ian Dawsons model
  • Reasons for a person being significant. If s/he
  • changed events at the time they lived.
  • improved lots of peoples lives or made them
  • changed peoples ideas.
  • had a long lasting impact on their country or
    the world.
  • had been a really good or a very bad example to
    other people of how to live or behave.

What are your criteria?
  • Some significance questions
  • How significant was Stresemann to Weimar?
  • Would the Russian Revolution have succeeded
    without Lenin?
  • Could you have Nazism without Hitler?
  • In what ways was Roosevelt significant?
  • What is the relevance of Nazism/Communism to us

Winston Churchill
In a recently-released book Churchill the
greatest Briton unmasked Nigel Knight argues
that Churchill, as Chancellor of the Exchequer in
the 1920s, was the cause of Britains lack of
preparation for WW2, rather than Chamberlain who
is often considered the guilty man of
appeasement. Knight also argues that Churchill
helped extend WW2 by his poor choice of tactics
and military decision-making, yet he is still
regarded as the saviour of Britain in 1940.
Churchill, is the greatest Briton according to
a recent BBC survey.
HMS Birkenhead
In January 1852, left Portsmouth conveying troops
to South Africa. At 2am 26th February the ship
hit an uncharted rock, ripping a hole in the
hull. Over 400 people died. This disaster started
the protocol of "women and children first!"
So why dont we remember it now?
  • How will you plan for historical significance?
  • Your pupils will need opportunities to -
  • use criteria to make judgements on historical
  • devise their own criteria,
  • understand, and then explain, that using
    different criteria can lead to different
  • understand, and then explain, that asking
    different historical questions can lead to
    different judgements,
  • explore how judgements on historical
    significance have varied across different
  • recognise, and then explain, that holding
    different values leads to different judgements.

Find out more www.history.org.uk/resources/second
Bradshaw, Matthew, Creating controversy in the
classroom making progress with historical
significance in Teaching History, Issue 125,
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