I have just read an article on the Royal British Legion’s blog that says recent research suggests that British school children are severely lacking in British historical knowledge. Not surprising given the wide spectrum of curriculum modern schools are supposed to cram into term time, and the never ending surge of political correctness that means these children spend a dis-proportionate amount of time studying the history and beliefs of far flung countries rather than the history and beliefs of their own…
The legion suggest that some teachers out of a survey of just over 2000, admitted to only dedicating 1 hour of teaching time to the subject of the holocaust. To me this is unbelievable.
How can we expect future generations to avoid the mistakes of the past if we do not make them aware? And I dont mean watching a one hour documentary, or colouring in a few yellow Stars of David…they need to truly understand how a seemingly civilised country such as Germany accepted the systematic slaughter of over 10 million people as ‘something that needed to be done’.
Surely such study is important? In a recent article in the Guardian it argues that this so called more flexible curriculum is less challenging to pupils and there is concern that subject matter such as Hitler, Stalin, Churchill and Ghandi are no longer compulsory.
No longer compulsory? Are they mad? At a personal level, almost every child in British classrooms today will have family stories from the first and second wars, surely it is their right to know what happened to the grandfather, and great greatgrandfather? Surely they should know that they fought to make the world a better place, that they werent killers, but proud fighters that wanted to protect their country and their families.
The only way to learn is to learn from mistakes, but are we not allowing the future of our country learn? The Holocaust must never happen again, but how will our children know if they are not taught properly?