October 06, 2010

A return to narrative history in schools?

Writing about web page http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/05/simon-schama-ministers-history-curriculum

At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove announced that Simon Schama would be advising the government on a new history curriculum for schools. This would have a narrative approach and emphasise "our island story". He also implied that there may be more time in the curriculum for History although he did not suggest it should become compulsory at GCSE level.

The History Subject Associations (including the Subject Centre) are in touch with the government and hope to have a full input to any changes in the curriculum.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Roger Spalding

    The problem with narrative is that it implies a single possible outcome to a train of historical events. All to often those who promote the benefits of narrative have a particular endpoint that they want history to arrive at. This was very evident in the documentation produced to support the introduction of the National Curiculum in the 1990s. Fans of narrative also see it as providing an opportunity to promote a sense of national identity. This was why Civitas re-issued ‘Our Island Story’. The role of History is not to promote questionable notions of national identity, but to develop critical perspectives, to enable children, and anyone else studying the subject to question the claims made by our rulers, and to be able to recognise that many episodes in our national history were rather less than glorious.

    25 Oct 2010, 14:11

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