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insight4me History: 20th Century Dictatorships – Curriculum Insights with University of East Anglia & University of Reading

12th June 2019 @ 11:10 - 12:10




insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how, this case, History is taught.

In this insight4me History webinar for schools and colleges, two universities, including University of Reading and UEA, will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of 20th Century Dictatorships, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic, a topic that links to the A Level curriculum, and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the Year 12 students. Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience of this topic at university, and compare and contrast how other subject areas across the History spectrum might be treated. Students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond the A-level curriculum.

By hearing from 2 unis, students will also appreciate how the further study of History can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

Full details of the university talks are below:

University of East Anglia: Dr Geoff Hicks (Senior Lecturer, School of History) will present Facing the Dictators, 1933-53 This lecture will consider Britain’s response to the regimes of Hitler and Stalin. It will suggest that, despite the apparent differences in response to the two dictators, British policy was surprisingly consistent, dependent upon its essential interests.

University of Reading: Professor Patrick Major will talk on East Germany and ‘What difference did the Berlin Wall make?’ In 1961 the GDR resorted to the extreme measure of walling in its population which had been leaking across the Iron Curtain to the West in their millions. How did this physical measure affect the power relationships between rulers and ruled? Had the previously open border acted as a safety valve, and did the closure now encourage a build-up of frustrations which ultimately led to the mass demonstrations of 1989? I shall also talk about how the regime dispensed travel to the West to a privileged few ‘travel cadres’, but also how western influences such as popular music still entered the GDR over the airwaves, so that East Germany could never be a truly hermetically sealed dictatorship.”

Students will have the chance to question each speaker and/or offer their own ideas.

This will be a dynamic, fast paced event with the universities cycling between 2 different virtual rooms. The universities will decide how to manage the time but a rough guide would be a 20 minute talk followed by questions from the schools.

Suitable for: Year 12 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, History.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 3 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying History at university level.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. Further details are here: Connecting in to a Channel Talent Event (Please Click)

We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 to 5 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience. In this event there will be three groups of schools taking part increasing the opportunity to participate.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please click here 

Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


12th June 2019
11:10 - 12:10
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