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Annabel Astbury

School history gets the TV treatment | Education | The Guardian - 6 views

  • His key episodes are based not around a grand organising narrative but a series of vignettes that make compelling stories.
  • If history is popular on TV, it can be made popular at school.
  • Teachers developed new methods, shifting away from chronology and narrative to topics and themes, where the emphasis was placed on "skills" of analysis over the regurgitation of facts.
  • ...8 more annotations...
  • . History in schools, they argue
  • without providing any connecting narrative thread that explains their relationship with each other. The solution is a return to narrative history, to a big story that will organise and make sense of historical experience.
  • Nonetheless, it remains an announcement that tells us more about the contradictions of government thinking and its reductive view of the humanities and social sciences than it does about the state of history teaching in our schools.
  • I agree with Schama that the real public value of history-teaching in schools (as in universities) lies in its capacity to re-animate our civil society and produce an engaged and capable citizenry. I disagree that good story-telling will get you there
  • History provides us with a set of analytical skills that are indispensable for citizens who want to understand our present conditions
  • We want students who aren't just entertained, but who can think critically and effectively about the world they live in.
  • For the creative and innovative teacher it may have been something of a constraint, but most now agree it led to a ‘golden age’ of history teaching in primary schools in the 1990s and ensured every child covered a coherent history syllabus from 11-14 without repeating topics. It also spawned a generation of excellent and accessible teaching materials and encouraged heritage organisations to provide for a standard history curriculum
  • Regardless this return to grand narrative and national myth goes against the very progress we as academic historians have made. History is more to do with how we think and evaluate things, the tools we use to come to conclusions than about dates and conveniently accessible stories self legitimatising the status quo.
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