Teacher fellows

Monica McGhee

I am head of humanities in a South Lanarkshire school and a History PGDE Teaching fellow at Moray House, Edinburgh University. I graduated from Glasgow University in 2014 with a First-Class joint honours degree in History and Italian. My undergraduate dissertation involved dissecting medieval Italian sources to study various interpretations of a key figure of the early Reformation, a Dominican monk named Savonarola. Though in my job as a Secondary History teacher, I do not often have the opportunity or time to discuss Savonarola, what stayed with me from my research is that History is made up of so many different interpretations of one event. Too often, young people think that History is a ‘fact’ and I strive in challenging that position. It is the job of a Historian to break down evidence, ask questions of text and look at different perspectives in order to try and reach a conclusion, which in itself, remains yet another interpretation. These critical literacy skills are vital in the discipline of History but are also ever more relevant in the digital world where we are inundated with information and ‘fake news’. I researched this exact topic for my Masters degree in Education, from which I graduated with distinction in December 2019. It showed that through young people being explicitly taught the skills of reading historical sources such as sourcing, contextualisation and corroboration, their critical literacy skills were improved. I have enjoyed working with Parallel Histories as they share my passion for ‘doing’ History properly and putting our young people in the driver’s seat. I know first-hand that this sort of History education can be empowering, enjoyable and transformative.

Monica McGhee

I am head of humanities in a South Lanarkshire school and a History PGDE Teaching fellow at Moray House, Edinburgh University. I graduated from Glasgow University in 2014 with a First-Class joint honours degree in History and Italian. My undergraduate dissertation involved dissecting medieval Italian sources to study various interpretations of a key figure of the early Reformation, a Dominican monk named Savonarola. Though in my job as a Secondary History teacher, I do not often have the opportunity or time to discuss Savonarola, what stayed with me from my research is that History is made up of so many different interpretations of one event. Too often, young people think that History is a ‘fact’ and I strive in challenging that position. It is the job of a Historian to break down evidence, ask questions of text and look at different perspectives in order to try and reach a conclusion, which in itself, remains yet another interpretation. These critical literacy skills are vital in the discipline of History but are also ever more relevant in the digital world where we are inundated with information and ‘fake news’. I researched this exact topic for my Masters degree in Education, from which I graduated with distinction in December 2019. It showed that through young people being explicitly taught the skills of reading historical sources such as sourcing, contextualisation and corroboration, their critical literacy skills were improved. I have enjoyed working with Parallel Histories as they share my passion for ‘doing’ History properly and putting our young people in the driver’s seat. I know first-hand that this sort of History education can be empowering, enjoyable and transformative.