Nuffield Humanities Curriculum Project

Organiser: Lawrence Stenhouse

A controversial approach 

The aim of the Nuffield Humanities project was to teach students about controversial contemporary issues in a neutral way, helping them consider different viewpoints and learn the importance of evidence.

It promoted classroom discussion, helping teachers to ask open questions and to encourage hypothesising. This was very different from the previous model of transmission teaching and questions about facts.

The challenge for teachers

The project was very stimulating for participating teachers, but the teaching approach turned out to be hard for others to adopt and the resources were difficult to use. The pack about race and racial prejudice led to a major political row.

Continuing research and evaluation

The Humanities project team soon moved to the Centre for Applied Research in Education (CARE) at the University of East Anglia. There they continued to be very influential through their research and programmes of professional development. CARE led the teacher-as-researcher movement, with its focus on professional knowledge grounded in theory, scholarship and case-study evidence. It literally changed the face of education.