Teaching History at University through Communities of Inquiry

Most academic historians in Australia are also teachers. Yet history academics have seldom been as assiduous in researching the traditions of their teaching as they have been in researching their subjects-matter. Prompted by a recent Australian survey of history students and academics, this article draws on new developments in social and educational psychology to suggest ways of overcoming the individualism and passivity of many established traditions of teaching and learning of history in universities. These new ways seek to re-position history learners in the university as researchers who collaborate. The aim is to widen the range of performances history students undertake, helping to make students more active and self-aware in their historical thinking, and enabling them to expect more and more to make knowledge, not just to receive it.