History Detectives in Action: Bringing History to Life Using Primary Sources


  • Senga White




Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum, Teacher Confidence, Universal Design for Learning, History


History Detectives in Action (HDIA), a programme designed to engage students, spark curiosity and prompt historical critical thinking in the social sciences, particularly suited to the new Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum (ANZHC), incorporates the principles of Universal Design for Learning and collaborative practice to expand teacher confidence and capacity to enact a place-based approach through embracing primary source materials. Additionally, HDIA provides the impetus for genuine and personal interactions with local history where engaged learning through active participation provides a more authentic learning experience. 

Findings showed teachers' confidence and mindset to employ primary sources as an introduction to local history beyond the classroom increased, and collaborative partnerships with a professional librarian were acknowledged and valued. Moreover, student curiosity, engagement and active participation were noted by all teacher, archivist and teacher-aide participants.  

As the ANZHC continues to be embraced by schools and other curriculum areas are refreshed through the Understand-Know-Do framework, there is a presupposition of meaningful local design to learning progressions and the HDIA approach provides a practical and applicable vehicle for teachers in both primary and secondary schools where an integrated, interdisciplinary approach is the expected outcome.




How to Cite

White, S. (2022). History Detectives in Action: Bringing History to Life Using Primary Sources. He Rourou, 2(1), 90–108. https://doi.org/10.54474/herourou.v2i1.7151