There are times when I read the Telegraph online and scratch my head totally perplexed. The latest article to render me thus is one on the teaching of history.
I know history is a difficult subject to teach. I remember hours of tedium taking down dictated notes when I was at school. We didn't have worksheets where you coloured in Anne Boleyn's hair-cap, we just wrote and wrote and learned and learned.
However, nobody shied away from provocative subjects. We were not given a politically correct watered down version for universal consumption where everyone's a winner. There were baddie nations, goodie nations, baddie religions, baddie kings and lots of dates. Today, teachers are avoiding teaching certain subjects because, for example, in the case of the Crusades, the balanced approach taught in schools challenges what is taught in local mosques.
I sit scratching and wondering whether these teachers are merely lily-livered baby-sitters or the most pathetic examples of what has become a national disgrace; liberal pc infiltration of teaching. The Communists re-wrote history, your average dictator re-writes the bits that concern him; democracies lauding free speech do NOT (except to give both sides).
Why is causing possible offense so bad, anyway? Surely, discussion, respectful debate and participation helps each side to understand the other. They may not agree, but dialogue helps both sides feel integrated, their opinions heard.
Why is everyone so scared? The Labour Government has a lot to answer for because it is under them that policitical correctness and feminazism has been allowed to expand and destroy much of what was good in society. People are more suspicious of their neighbours than ever before, white males are society's bad guys, boys in general are considered a nuisance and the government is pandering to all the loonier lobbyists.
Come on people, wake up. You already have no more pensions to look forward to thanks to that thief Gordon Brown (although I'm sure his is safe!), don't let the lack of education of your children jeopardise the country's future! Without a clear understanding of history; a learning of its lessons, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Get the bastards OUT!
The teaching of history has always been warped, Sarah, even in democracies. I remember my mum - a Protestant from Belfast - reading a book about the History of Ireland. She was horrified. She had never been taught that in school - she knew nothing about the Irish famine (at least, not the truth) - her history lessons had been biaised towards the English.ReplyDelete
When I taught in Nigeria, the history teacher told me that he knew everything about British history and nothing about Nigerian history.
I love history but I'm not sure these days whether I'm reading the truth or simply one person's point of view. As for offending people - that's PC rubbish. My own children are of mixed race and have been sniggered at by their friends during history classes about the slave trade - and their Jewish friends have been singled out (by their friends) during other lessons - I think it's a good thing. They are made to realise that life isn't all sugar and spice and it leads to lively debate and intelligent discussion. And my girls are not offended...if anything, they are more determined to work for peace and justice in this world.
I'd hate to be at school in England today. What sort of person will the system produce? We'll soon find out, I imagine...
I loved History at school, and even now I still read a lot of historical books. I just don't understand when it is said that the events during WWII and especially the Holocaust shouldn't be taught in schools as it might be offensive...to whom? My children have Jewish friends and quite to the contrary, I would say that learning about such horrors made them far more interested in talking to these friends about their religion.ReplyDelete
I would have thought that if there was a time to teach children about what happened in the past, then it would be now. Show them to what depths the human race can descend if people are no longer tolerant of one another.
Gigi, I agree that history is written from the perspective of those who write it, and that's one of those thorny issues that is a discussion all to itself.ReplyDelete
It's the NOT teaching of the history that might offend someone that leaves me flummoxed. As you say, the world is NOT a nice place, and nations are not only offending each other all over the place, they are also attacking and setting out to destroy each other, so whimping out over teaching the Crusades etc. seems a bizarre and over-reactive response.
I don't think David Cameron would agree with you, he is as bad as the other lot. We white males are becoming the under class!ReplyDelete
I always get the feeling that David Cameron is a little boy trying to be a big boy. He certainly has no presence or charisma. Some leader!ReplyDelete
My own children's lessons on the 100 years war and Jeanne d'Arc didn't quite tally with what I'd learned at school..Give them the facts about everything is my opinion.ReplyDelete