Tuesday, 22 November 2011
David Cannadine on History Teaching
One of Michael Gove's advisers, the historian David Cannadine, has published a paper this week - "The Right Kind of History" - on how History should be taught in British Schools. In it, he suggests that the problem with current teaching is not the type of subjects taught, but the length of time they are given, and that History should be made compulsory up to the age of 16 to fit this all in. He points out that Britain and Albania are the only countries in Europe which do not make it compulsory beyond the age of 14. He explains his point of view further in this article from the Guardian and in this interview from the Today Programme.
Michael Gove has invited several historians, including Richard Evans, Simon Schama and Niall Ferguson to consider reforms to the curriculum. It remains to be seen what steps will actually be put in place. What do you think should be done?
UPDATE: Check out this fantastic audio slideshow where various ex-history students talk about how they were taught from the 1930s through to the 1960s - there are lots of photos of history classes and textbooks (complete with scribbles). You also get to learn a useful way to remember the medieval kings of England, and find out what a Baldric is! It's well worth 4 minutes of your time.