Understanding the processes of continuity and change enables students to appreciate the past, not as a homogenous whole, nor indeed as a series of events, but as a complex flow of currents and counter-currents. It helps students to appreciate the complexity of the past and creates uncertainty around loaded terms such as “primitive” and “progress”. Again, there are four key strands to this concept:
1. Past societies are not fixed, there are changes which have occurred spanning centuries. Changes in the past can be identified by looking at DEVELOPMENTS between two periods.
2. Change and continuity are INTERWOVEN and both can be present together in history. CHRONOLOGIES can be used to show change and continuity working together over time.
3. Change is a process which varies over time. Change can be described as a FLOW in terms of its PACE and EXTENT and can be said to TRENDS and have specific TURNING POINTS.
4. Change and continuity are not a single process. There are many FLOWS of change and continuity operating at the same time. Not all FLOWS go in the same direction.