“Those who cannot remember the past are …”
Posted by Big John on March 15, 2011
Recently I read about an ex-RAF pilot, who had served in World War II, going into a store where the young lady assistant noticed the veteran’s pin in his jacket lapel.
“What’s that badge ?” … she asked.
“Oh, it commemorates my service during the ‘Battle of Britain’ ” … replied the old boy.
“What battle of Britain was that then ?” asked the girl !
I know that it sounds like incredible ignorance, but then we’ve all read of the surveys where people think that Hitler was the German football (soccer) coach and that Churchill is the dog on TV that sells insurance.
So it comes as no shock to learn that so many children now drop history as a GCSE subject at the age of thirteen: and it seems that we are the only country in Europe that allows children to do this.
In the recent report inspectors raised concerns that, in primary schools, many pupils lacked chronological knowledge of historical events, partly because of the fashionable move towards teaching in ‘themes’. The report identified one primary school that skipped from the Romans and Ancient Egypt to the Tudors and then the Victorians. Sounds a bit like flicking from one channel to another with the TV remote.
I just hope that the lessons on the Tudors don’t use scenes from the TV series of the same name, as it’s a bit light on facts, but makes up for it in scenes of royal ‘rumpy-pumpy’. Perhaps they could introduce a sex education and history ‘theme’.
I must confess that I am a bit of a history nut, so I find it sad that so many young people know little or nothing about the exhilarating, inspiring and sometimes not so glorious history of this country, which of course teaches us so much about …
… our place in the world today.