Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Scotland from 1707-1815: A Support Pack

My main work last autumn as a history teacher and examiner was to write a support pack for Field 4 of Advanced Higher History. It studies Scotland from 1707-1815.

The SQA hold the copyright for the document, but they are happy for me to publish the link. Here it is:

If you go to this page you will find what I have written by clicking on "Additional Course Support".

This is one of the minority options in Advanced Higher History, chosen by many fewer candidates than some of the self-evidently exciting and interesting fields from the Twentieth Century. One likes to think that as the candidates grow older they will read about all of them; but in their final year at school they have to chose one. Unlike some of the more popular options there is not one clearly suitable text-book for candidates; nor would any publisher commission one, for the numbers are too low. The popular options, to their advantage, also have A-level equivalents, so excellent text-books do exist.

This support pack tries to fill the gap. It is not a text-book, and it will not replace  candidate's own work.  The intention of this support pack is to give candidates the guidance they need to get the best out of a fascinating and rewarding course.

We do feel that this option deserves to be more popular. It includes serious politics, such as the results of the Treaty of Union and the impact of the French Revolution and radicalism. It covers momentous economic changes, both in agriculture and in industry. It also deals with the results of these changes, notably urbanisation, and the changing life of the Highlands. For those who like romance and military adventure (one should say the bitter hardship of civil war) the Jacobite rebellions provide plenty. The Kirk during this period was grappling with old certainties and new doubts. Above all this was the period of the Scottish Enlightenment, when Adam Smith, David Hume, Thomas Reid, James Hutton and many others transformed the way we think of ourselves and our world. There are compulsory elements in the course, and also many options. For example, those who wish to find out more about Robert Burns, Alan Ramsay or Walter Scott will not be wasting their time.

I do hope that in a year or two I will be marking your work, or your pupils' work.

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