Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tory Grassroots and School History

Apparently, British history doesn't get a look-in at British schools, and the desire to place the teaching of history as the central feature of every British classroom is the second most favoured policy of Tory grassroots members. Conservative Home say that the policy garnered 94% support in its survey of what the party members want in the next Conservative manifesto. Which is a pretty damning indictment of the Tory backwoodsman view of British schooling.

Am quickly reviewing my teaching schedule for the next few weeks, which includes the intricacies of the Norman invasion, followed by the Plantagenet successors for the Year 7s; a look through the Tudor and Stuart monarchs and their turbulent, game changing reigns for Year 8; and completing the Industrial Revolution (in Britain, "the first industrial nation", naturally) before moving on to British political reform in the 19th. century for Year 9. Not much of a look-in for any NON-British material there I'd say, except as a form of context, and that little lot follows the National Curriculum guidelines laid out for all schools. As if you needed further evidence of the focus of British schools on British history, a glance at any issue of the history teaching profession's trade journal, "Teaching History", would put it to rest. A wide variety of teachers and other practitioners seem to be wrestling almost exclusively with the problems and fascinations of British history teaching. That this is such a key Tory grassroots view would seem to confirm my view that an unreconstructed - and apparently rather ignorant - party membership could be David Cameron's biggest problem.

It goes without saying that the freezing of the BBC licence fee is number 3 in this list of policy lemmings, followed by the need to maintain our nuclear deterrent. The Tories - never knowingly progressive!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

China is more interesting anyway

Anonymous said...

You'd think that because of globalisation it'd be more important to understand world history.

I imagine these tories want the british empire to be taught more widely.

Anonymous said...

agreed