HIS Unit 4 Feedback

Report
A2 Unit 4
The Historical Enquiry (Coursework)
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
What is Unit 4?
• A2 unit -20% of A level
• A piece of individual coursework - 3,500 words plus a 500
word evaluation and a bibliography
• An historical enquiry, responding to a question, conveying
judgement and reaching a conclusion
• Internally marked out of 60
(50 marks – Enquiry; 10 marks – Evaluation)
• Externally moderated –by sample
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
The ‘100 Year’ Rule
• Setting Historical Enquiries in the context of 100 or more
years is integral to the unit. Token use of a broad period to
present a narrow study is not acceptable
• All enquiry titles should indicate the 100+ year context –
which may be a thematic one
• Students should be aware of the 100+ year contextual
period before researching/writing
• 20% or more of the final enquiry should contain reference
to the 100+ year period
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Suitable Topics for Study
• Topics that contain a number of themes and have
elements of continuity and change – these may be
political, cultural, social etc
• Topics that have provoked historical debate and for which
resources are readily available
• Topics must avoid overlap with material studied in Units 1,
2 or 3 and should be from a different period or country
from that studied at Unit 3
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
From Topics to Questions
• Either the teacher or individual students can choose their
topic/question. Topics are likely to be common to all but
variety in questions can promote better and more
individualistic enquiries
• Even if the same question is chosen, allowing individual
choice of sources helps promote independent thinking
• Centres are strongly advised to have questions approved
by an allocated AQA coursework adviser before the
Enquiry is written
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Students must be able to meet the
Assessment criteria
• A01(a) - ability to use historical knowledge appropriately and
communicate in a clear manner
• A01(b) - demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the past
through relevant explanation, analysis and judgement
• A02(a) - analyse and evaluate a range of sources with some
discrimination
• A02(b) - analyse and evaluate differing interpretations and
representations of the past, in relation to the historical context
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Questions
• Poor questions lead to poor enquiries; getting the question
right is essential
• Enquiries should permit effective reference to a full 100
year period
• Questions should encourage evaluation of historical
debate
• All questions need to be realistic in terms of accessible
research materials
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Questions (cont.)
• The Historical Enquiry should show an awareness of
change and continuity over time
• Questions which cover the full 100 years equally need to
reflect themes which run across the whole period
• Questions which have a narrower focus must permit
contrasts and comparisons with earlier and future
developments OR allow access to a broader period
through the analysis of short/long term causes or
immediate/long term impact
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Questions which don’t work
• Within the years 1890-1990, to what extent was
Gorbachev responsible for the end of the Cold War?
• Within the years 1845-1945, how responsible was Hitler
for the holocaust?
• Within the years 1603-1714, to what extent was the Civil
War caused by the personal failings of Charles 1?
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Choosing suitable question stems
• Stems beginning with ‘what’ or ‘how’ invite description
• Stems beginning with ‘why’ or even ‘explain why’ can
encourage a list
• To what extent; how successful and quotations followed
by ‘assess the validity of this view’ generally work well
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Sources
• Enquiries need to be based on a range of sources –
usually 6-10 but more is not necessarily better
• The quality of the resources is important –and they may
be primary or secondary, oral, visual or derived from field
visits
• Excessive use of Wikipedia and indiscriminate web sites
should be discouraged, although used properly, the web is
an excellent resource
• Enquiries need to show an understanding of relevant
historiography and differing views and interpretations
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Source Evaluation
• There needs to be comment on the main (not necessarily
all) sources, as used in the enquiry
• Utility should be linked to the Enquiry undertaken
• The evaluation should show discrimination between the
sources
• Commentaries should be personal, meaningful and
indicate serious research
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Guiding Students
• Teachers should guide students during the research
phase of their Historical Enquiries, but the amount of
advice and guidance provided should be taken into
account in the assessment for AO1(a)
• Advice –written or oral - should remain at the general
level, enabling the candidate to take the initiative in
making amendments.
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Rubric regarding teacher guidance
• There should be no more than one review of a written
enquiry
•
• Teachers should not give detailed advice and suggestions
as to how the work could be improved or provide specific
details about errors or omissions
• Teachers should not help rewrite introductions,
conclusions, plans and or give specific structural help
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Rubric regarding teacher guidance (cont.)
• Guidance should cease once the candidate is ready to put
together a final essay, which should be his/her own work
•
Teachers should not intervene in the final piece of writing,
nor comment on continuous passages, introductions or
conclusions, or ask candidates to correct sections of such
a final piece
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Assessing students’ work
• Teachers mark according to the four assessment
objectives; AO2(a) is reserved for the source evaluation
• Teachers should put comments on the scripts as well as
at the end. Words are more helpful than reference to AOs
• Teachers should justify final choice of mark
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A Level
History
– Unit 4
Title
of presentation
Observations from 2010
• Some students were unduly penalised through poorly thought-out
questions
• Too many enquiries were narratives of a 100 years
• Most enquiries were within the word count and effectively
communicated – some students struggled to maintain an analytical
structure throughout
• Most included bibliographies and many provided suitable footnotes.
This helps in the assessment of A02(b)
• Most candidates produced a discrete A02(a) but too much source
evaluation was based on simple lists of sources and the role of utility
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