Outstanding benefit to society through research

Professor Claire Alexander, School of Social Sciences

History Lessons/History Matters: creating a diverse history curriculum

Nearly a quarter of the school-age population of Britain’s schools are of Black or minority ethnic heritage. Despite this, cultural diversity and multiculturalism are often not taught well in schools and BME young people are underrepresented in the study of history in schools and HE.

Claire worked with the independent think tank Runnymede Trust, to influence government policy on the teaching of diverse British histories in the national curriculum. Using oral and local histories to explore migration to Britain, they developed a joined-up approach to resourcing, supporting and engaging pupils and teachers in the diverse histories of migration.

Claire says: “I was both surprised and delighted to win the Making a Difference Award for Outstanding Benefit to Society Through Research. The History Lessons/History Matters project was a collective achievement which brought together academic researchers with the Runnymede Trust, museums, archives, schools, teachers and school pupils to explore how we can teach the diverse histories of Britain, and it was wonderful to be able to celebrate this collaboration."

"We have been able to build on this work since in two ways: to help develop a teaching resource to support teachers and pupils at GCSE level (www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk); and to work with Church of England schools and the founder of Tamasha Theatre company to explore Indian Partition in schools.

Watch Claire's film.