Registered On: January 3, 2014
How so? Personally, I am not very concerned about it being taught, because it isn’t, so far as I am aware.
For a long while now the teaching of history has been not so much about, “here are the facts”, as “here’s where to look for the facts”. Now make your own mind up.
In 2002 I did a post graduate diploma in history at Oxford University. In the first unit a lot of the myths around history were debunked. In fact we were told that you cannot “teach” history, you can only “record” it. Of course you can only record what you see, what you have been told or what you have read. Recording what you have been told or read is fraught with errors. Who has written this history? What sort of readership is it aimed at? And more importantly who is sponsoring the book? Early histories of England were commissioned by the monarchy to substantiate their claim to the throne. Anyone who writes a history book has an agenda. You cannot write impartially no matter how hard you try. I know I have done it.
Here is a prime example from a book that used to belong to my grandfather. It dates from the mid 1930s and is called “How much do you know”. It would have been one of a set of volumes (think Readers Digest). In the chapter on “Our Wonderful World” is a paragraph titled – “Why is the white race dominant?” I quote: –
“The white race is the most versatile, has the most initiative, a greater faculty for organisation, and a more practical outlook on life. This has led to its mastery of the material side of living, urged it to invention and discovery, and to the development of industry, commerce and science. It has had the advantage also of living for the most part in temperate climes, where the struggle for existence has neither been too difficult nor too easy. The black race, enervated by the heat of the tropics, has never shown any great capacity for sustained or combined effort.”
This of course says nothing about “The Black Race”, but a lot about the author of the piece and how he doesn’t fancy having to do manual work at 30 degrees Celsius!
It would be totally unacceptable today and for good reason, but as a historical document recording attitudes prevalent before WWII it is an interesting read.
So the link in the OP is really a non-story as it is just one MP’s take on what is an important National issue, but one that cannot be quantified on such basic terms.
Pupils and students must be encouraged to form their own opinions. The danger is when these opinions come from selected sources or biased viewpoints, which is what happened in the past.
Unfortunately it is still happening today!