Although history standards generally aim at developing historical consciousness among secondary school students, there is not much research-based knowledge to support making connections between the past, the present and the future in history teaching. This study examines the effects of teaching analogous cases of an enduring human issue in two experimental conditions: one in which grade 10-12 students (n = 460) were actively encouraged to compare cases and to draw analogies with the present and one in which students studied cases without making comparisons or drawing analogies with the present (n = 273). Set against the results of a group of students who followed the usual history curriculum (n = 289), multilevel regression analyses on the collected data revealed that both experimental conditions positively affected students’ appraisals of the relevance of history, more so in the ‘case-comparison’ condition than in the ‘separate-case’ condition. Students in the case-comparison condition also deemed the lesson course more valuable and experienced less difficulty with the applied pedagogical approach than students in the separate-case condition. Case comparison did not negatively affect the acquisition of historical factual knowledge. Implications for further research are discussed.