The Royal Historical Society takes a keen interest in promoting and developing the teaching of history in higher education. The Society’s engagement in this area is overseen by its Education Committee. The committee is drawn from members of the RHS Council and chaired by the Society’s Secretary for Education who sits as an Officer on the Council.
The Education Committee works closely with education specialists in other organisations, such as the Historical Association (which represents the interests of primary and secondary school History teachers) and HistoryUK (which represents UK History departments).
Current activities in which the Committee is engaged include:
1. Online resources and guides for history teachers in Higher Education
The RHS Teaching Portal is a free online resource for teachers and students of History in UK Higher Education. The Portal includes more than 70 articles (text and video) produced by experienced researchers, teachers and resource providers. Articles are themed ‘For Teachers’ and ‘For Students’; and by ‘Innovative Modules’, ‘Transitions through HE’, ‘Careers’ and ‘Online Resources’.
The Portal is an important, and evolving, resource for teachers of History, and a forum for debate and discussion about the pedagogy of our discipline. Additionally, the Portal provides support in the face of unexpected challenges, such as adapting to digital learning during the lockdowns of 2020-21.
2. Jinty Nelson Teaching Grants
From 2023, the Society will make available annual grants of £1000 each to support the development of innovative teaching practices. The grants replace the Society’s previous prizes for teaching in Higher Education. In making this change, the Society seeks to focus more on facilitating new practice from which others can learn.
The call for the Jinty Nelson Teaching Grants, 2023, will launch on 31 March 2023.
3. ‘New to Teaching’ Conference, with HistoryUK
The Society hosts an annual series of workshops which provide expert advice for those ‘New to Teaching’ at the start of the academic year. The event enables attendees to develop their understanding of key issues relating to teaching History in higher education: from innovations in teaching and learning to curriculum design, teaching in groups, and giving assessment.
The latest ‘New to Teaching’ Conference took place in September 2022. Videos of the eight presentations are available here.
Also with History UK, the Society supports development of the Pandemic Pedagogy Handbook, which charts shifting classroom practice.