History Teachers Network


Image: Lessons on the United Nations, 1 January 1950 (Credit: UN Photo 120463,, United Nations Photo Archive)The latest meeting of the Birkbeck History Teachers Network took place last week, with members of the Centre joined by teachers from secondary schools across London. The evening provided an opportunity for members of the Centre to speak with teachers and hear more about the pressures and challenges they are currently facing. Discussions encompassed a range of topics, including changes to marking guidelines and procedures for History GCSE, the use (and misuse) of textbooks in the classroom, and initiatives to assist with students’ transition from studying history at secondary school to university.

In addition, the group also discussed the Centre’s plan to compile a lexicon of ‘false friends’ in the language used in the teaching profession and in universities. This initiative arose from our work creating an online resource for teaching the history of internationalism. Whilst writing and planning the resource, we noted that school history teachers and university lecturers do not always speak the same language. ‘Breadth’ and ‘depth’, for example, take on somewhat different meanings, as do more generic terms such as ‘judgement’.

The Network will meet again later in the summer term. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for the lexicon, or if would like to be added to the Network mailing list to find out more about our plans and upcoming events, please contact us via