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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: 'O' and 'A' Level examinations in history - a content analysis, its implications for teaching and for the reform of the G.C.E. syllabus
Author(s): Inglis, William F.J.
Issue Date: 1978
Abstract: The InterdIsciplInary and exploratory nature of thIs thesis has made It difficult to write. The thesIs is InterdIscIplinary in the sense that it touches on a number of broad areas of study. The methodology which was adopted, In partIcular the use of content analysis and of certaIn statIstical processes rests on a knowledge of psychology. The category system which is made up of a number of types of hIstory could only be constructed after an extensIve consideration of the nature of history. The discussIon of the case for and agaInst the current syllabus,and the proposal for a new alternative syllabus at '0' and 'A' level (see Chapters 13 and 14), draws mainly on an understanding of the theoretical debates about the teaching of history which have occurred since the Second World War. FInally throughout the thesis references are made to the evidence and Ideas put forward by historians about particular periods of history. The thesis Is also exploratory.· The findings which are reported arise from the use of a category system drawing on the different types of history developed by hIstorians. No other researchuhas attempted to create such a broad category system, to assess Its valIdIty and reliability and then to employ It to code material dealinq with extensive periods of British and European history. At the same time the arguments, whIch are employed to defend and to attack the existinq syllabus (see Chapter 13), and to construct the outlines of a new syllabus (see Chapter 14), had to be created almost ab initio, since the dominance of particular types of history. both at university and school level. has not been debated extensively. either by historians. or by those writers. who discuss the teaching o f h·I story. These two asoects of the thesis have had a number of reoercussions. First of all vast topics have had to be discussed in a cursory fashion. For example all the arguments for the inclusion or exclusion of oartlcular types of history in the category system had to be reviewed in one chapter. a few pages being devoted to each of the types of history. Secondly maior themes and arguments relating to the nature of history. and to history teachinQ. have had to be exemplified with disturbing brevity. Thus the debate over the impact of oarticular types of history on the community(l) had to be illustrated by a small number of examples when the whole thesis could have been devoted to the discussion. Thirdly. and finally. the wide ranging nature of the thesis has made it impossible to conduct the exhaustive study of every aspect of the subject which would have been appropriate had the topic been more narrowly defined. However. despite these disadvantages. it is to be hoped that this interdisciplinary and exploratory study will throw light on a vital area of the history syllabus in schools.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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