Helping to keep history relevant: mulitmedia and authentic learning

Peter Hillis, Drew Calderhead

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The subject based curriculum attracts lively debate in many countries being accused of fragmenting teaching and learning, erecting artificial barriers and failing to teach the skills required in the twenty first century (Hazlewood 2005). Cross-curricular rich tasks are increasingly seen as the means to develop relevant knowledge, understanding and skills. Over the past fourteen years we have developed and evaluated a series of interactive multi-media resources for primary and secondary schools on themes within Scottish History. The generally positive evaluation given to these resources by pupils and teachers points to some ways in which subjects such as history can remain challenging and relevant. The relevance has largely stemmed, in the case of the multi-media resources, from combining the historian's traditional role of problemising the past, with a wide range of primary and secondary sources, new technologies and learning tasks encompassing critical skills/authentic learning. Consequently, we argue that subjects must in future embrace new technologies and authentic learning to maintain their place in the school curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Interactive Media Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2009


  • history
  • subjects
  • authentic learning
  • multimedia
  • curriculum


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