Identifying knowledge deficits: mentor training for June 2014

Clio et cetera

Mentor training day is always a highlight of the calendar in the Cambridge partnership. Twice a year, history mentors from schools across the region gather in the Faculty of Education in Cambridge, working out how best to go about training the next generation of history teachers. A panel of mentors meet in advance to plan the day, and identify issues that need to be addressed in training.

This year the mentor panel zoomed in on a common weakness in trainees’ planning. Several mentors noted that trainees were not always thinking through sufficiently well the prior knowledge that pupils needed in order to understand a lesson, and that trainees might not grasp what new knowledge pupils needed because of this. Although trainees were often quite competent at thinking about pupil second-order conceptual question (e.g. how to make a question about the causes of events harder in Year 9 than it was…

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