Agora (2020/Issue 2) – Student Engagement and Student Voice

Agora is a journal of curated professional reading for history teachers. This digital download covers a broad range of articles about student engagement.

Please note that full-colour, print copies of Agora are available by annual subscription.


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Reflection | Bianca Crawford
Editorial | Guy Nolch


Storytelling in History Teaching | Deb Hull
History’s great advantage in capturing student interest is that it has enthralling stories, and humans are programmed for story.

History Rises in Our West | James Ridley
History enrolments at Hoppers Crossing Secondary College have boomed in the past five years due to College-wide initiatives, innovations in the Humanities Key Learning Area,  and an injection of new ideas by passionate History teachers.

Incorporating Online Teaching in History Classes | Scott Hetherington
Some strategies and tools used to teach History online can be adapted to the classroom as schools return to business-as-usual.

Lessons from Locked-Down Learning | Daniel Sandvik
A survey of teachers and students has revealed both the trials and triumphs they experienced when teaching was conducted entirely online due to the COVID-19 isolation restrictions in place earlier this year.

Student Voice, History and Our Future | Anna Duan
Learning is about more than simply memorising facts. Student Voice teaches students to engage with social issues in ways that can transform society.

Activating Student Voice and Agency in Assessment | Brodie Andersen
Working with students to decode the language in the VCAA’s performance descriptors enables them to assess how well they are demonstrating the scope of their learning.

A Student-Centred Approach to Teaching | Harriet Lobb
High-impact teaching strategies implemented across the secondary years improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

The Value of a Teacher’s Expertise in Inquiry Learning | Ashley Keith Pratt and Jeremy Patrick Otto
The role of the expert teacher is crucial to the effectiveness of an inquiry learning task in the classroom.


Interactive Strategies for Exploring History | Liam Tran
History teaching at Alice Miller School is informed by the school’s broader pedagogical principles about inclusion and independence.

Student Voice Through Student Narrative Choice | Ben Lawless
Giving students choice over a storyline in which they are the main character gives them more passion for the history.

Mirrors, Windows and Treasures on Excursions | Lucy Honan
Two learning activities can enliven a museum excursion and inspire students to explore exhibitions as gateways to history.

Preventing Loss of Student Engagement Through Reading and Writing Tasks | Lauren Trotter
Reading activities can be a fast way to alienate History students with low literacy, but a few activities can help them to articulate their insights, opinions and analysis in writing.

The Skill of Historical Empathy | Matthew Milburn and Miriam Iuricich
A potpourri of pus, herbs, simulations and creativity can enrich student understanding of the historical significance of the Black Death and its legacy.

A Viking Winter Solstice Celebration | Amy Noble
Year 8 students have travelled into the realm of historical empathy by inaugurating an annual celebration of the Viking culture.

Defining Moments Digital Classroom | David Arnold
The National Museum of Australia is launching an interactive website that brings key aspects of Australian History right into your classroom.

The New Study Design: VCE Australian History 2022–2026 | Gerard Martin
The key knowledge gained from the four historical investigations in the new VCE Australian History design allows students to makes sense of the past by considering continuity and change.

Members’ Voice | HTAV Members
HTAV members share tips and ideas about student engagement and voice.


Imagine You Are…’ Historical Empathy and Perspectives in History Textbook Tasks | Julia Vogel
An analysis of tasks set for students in a sample of Year 8 textbooks finds limitations in their success at fostering historical empathy and perspectives.