Pearson and Parallel Histories to partner to encourage more schools to teach Middle East history | Pearson qualifications

Pearson and Parallel Histories to partner to encourage more schools to teach Middle East history

3 February 2022

Pearson is partnering with the specialist educational charity, Parallel Histories, to introduce a new way for young people to learn about Middle East history at GCSE level.

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The idea, which was conceived following input from leading historians, teachers and advocacy groups, will provide teachers and schools with a package of dynamic digital learning resources for the topic, consisting of primary source materials, videos and digital resources.

Crucially, this will allow the students to engage with this highly contested and ‘live’ period in history in a balanced way, while also developing their critical thinking skills.

Sharon Hague, Managing Director of Pearson School Qualifications, said:

"We are the only exam board to support the teaching of this topic at GCSE level and we want to encourage more young people to learn about this important period of history. This new approach will encourage students to examine first-hand evidence, develop critical thinking skills and form their own opinions using open discussion in the classroom. Parallel Histories are experts in this approach, and we are delighted to be partnering with them to make this idea a reality."

Michael Davies, Editor, Parallel Histories, said:

"Parallel Histories is proud to be partnering with Pearson to deliver resources that will equip students to analyse the history of the Middle East from differing perspectives, acknowledging that historical events are often interpreted differently by different historians and communities. We believe that the best way to learn controversial topics in history is through engagement with the source materials and through debate in the classroom, and we are excited to be working with Pearson to promote this approach to teaching the history of the Middle East."

The new support will be in place for teaching in September 2022 and replaces previous textbooks on this topic.

Pearson will invite pioneer schools to help pilot this initiative and will work together with them to build this new way of teaching and supporting. If you would like to find out more about being involved in piloting resources, please contact us at

Free extra support and professional development will also be provided for teachers to help them teach this contested history confidently and effectively – and ultimately to encourage even more schools to offer this important topic at GCSE level.


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