History in school's are being ruined? Watch

Aristotle's' Disciple
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#41
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#41
20th is there for a reason. It's better. That's my argument.
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TheGrandmaster
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#42
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
You can see the breadth of knowledge expected. The are 17 questions on the period 1485-1688 but only five of them could be attempted by someone with only a knowledge of the Tudors.

You are an A level student. Do you have enough knowledge to do any of these three O level papers?
I think you have failed to consider some of the key differences between this 1960s paper and a modern one.
Whilst the 1960s paper certainly would require more breadth of knowledge, but the modern paper requires more depth of knowledge. The 1960s paper is essentially a test of how many facts you can remember and then recite back in the exam. Today's teaching of history, and indeed education as a whole, is less focussed on reciting facts and more on skills. For history these skills are chiefly analysis and evaluation. These skills are actually more useful tools to a student progressing to higher education or a job than a whole load of facts.
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nulli tertius
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#43
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(Original post by TheGrandmaster)
I think you have failed to consider some of the key differences between this 1960s paper and a modern one.
Whilst the 1960s paper certainly would require more breadth of knowledge, but the modern paper requires more depth of knowledge. The 1960s paper is essentially a test of how many facts you can remember and then recite back in the exam. Today's teaching of history, and indeed education as a whole, is less focussed on reciting facts and more on skills. For history these skills are chiefly analysis and evaluation. These skills are actually more useful tools to a student progressing to higher education or a job than a whole load of facts.
The point you make is perfectly valid but the criticism that academic historians (and other academics who use historical knowledge such as literature, media and modern languages lecturers) make is that the absence of knowledge means an inability to contextualise. Universities can teach analytical skills but want students to come equipped with an idea of the social, political, religious, constitutional, legal, cultural and international order at the time of the matters being studied.

What the school examination system has done is"sold" a product that the universities (and employers) never asked for and which they would rather swap back for the old model.
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TheGrandmaster
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#44
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
The point you make is perfectly valid but the criticism that academic historians (and other academics who use historical knowledge such as literature, media and modern languages lecturers) make is that the absence of knowledge means an inability to contextualise. Universities can teach analytical skills but want students to come equipped with an idea of the social, political, religious, constitutional, legal, cultural and international order at the time of the matters being studied.

What the school examination system has done is"sold" a product that the universities (and employers) never asked for and which they would rather swap back for the old model.
Are you really in a position to speak on behalf of all universities and employers? I doubt it.
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nulli tertius
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#45
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(Original post by TheGrandmaster)
Are you really in a position to speak on behalf of all universities and employers? I doubt it.
Of course not. It is a body of opinion but a widely held one.

All of these changes came from something called The Schools History Project which was driven by schoolteachers and not by either academic historians or employers. In the 1970s and 80s there was a fear that history would disappear as a school subject into an amorphous humanities with a bit of geography and a bit of sociology and this was the history teachers fightback.

As the head of an Oxford College said to me we are left with the Henrys and Hitler.
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TheGrandmaster
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#46
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Of course not. It is a body of opinion but a widely held one.

All of these changes came from something called The Schools History Project which was driven by schoolteachers and not by either academic historians or employers. In the 1970s and 80s there was a fear that history would disappear as a school subject into an amorphous humanities with a bit of geography and a bit of sociology and this was the history teachers fightback.

As the head of an Oxford College said to me we are left with the Henrys and Hitler.
I see, I was not aware of The School's History Project. In my school I think that for lower years history is being taught in the same class as other humanities such as Geography and R.E, so maybe the teacher's fightback has failed.

Admittedly I do seem to be doing a lot of Henrys, and even more Hitler.
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DJKL
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#47
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(Original post by TheGrandmaster)
I think you have failed to consider some of the key differences between this 1960s paper and a modern one.
Whilst the 1960s paper certainly would require more breadth of knowledge, but the modern paper requires more depth of knowledge. The 1960s paper is essentially a test of how many facts you can remember and then recite back in the exam. Today's teaching of history, and indeed education as a whole, is less focussed on reciting facts and more on skills. For history these skills are chiefly analysis and evaluation. These skills are actually more useful tools to a student progressing to higher education or a job than a whole load of facts.
I can't comment on the English O Level/ A Level syllabus from the 1970s, however I did both History and Economic History for Scottish O Grade, and then History for Higher under the Traditional syllabus. (My wife sat Alternative syllabus which was closer to the current topic mode of teaching)

The traditional syllabus at O Grade covered UK history from circa 1790-1930 and I can confirm from experience that your comments re depth are valid, the exams were in the main regurgitation of facts in essay form (with some slight analysis). The Higher syllabus covered European History from 1485-circa 1850 (from memory mainly Spain and Hapsburg Empire, France, Italian City States, Netherlands touching on house of Vasa and other peripheral powers) Higher history involved far more than mere facts, some analysis was required with exam essays of the sort "Discuss the consequences of the Treaty of Utrecht"

Having a sound "timeline" where events can be placed in chronological order is very helpful for later study, I think this attribute is sorely missed in the modern teaching approach and can often lead to missing the bigger picture when considering some particular event.

I would however also point out that memorizing prime ministers/ governments and tracking the various Factory Act etc during the 19thc was pretty dry stuff, the Higher was far more interesting but I seem to remember large numbers dropping History after fourth year before the subject blossomed.

There is a very good card game called Chronology; schools should seriously consider using this as a teaching aid in first/second year courses to help pupils get a feel for the sweep of events.

Do none of the exam boards now offer Economic History? I found it far more rewarding at University and it offered invaluable background knowledge when studying the more political courses.
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That Bearded Man
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#48
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History being taught today currently is far more relevant than ancient history. We studied GCSE cold war and Ireland, along with A level Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Learning about dictators, the effect of economic depressions, revolutions, personal feuds etc. are far more relevant AND interesting
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multiplexing-gamer
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#49
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#49
(Original post by That Bearded Man)
History being taught today currently is far more relevant than ancient history. We studied GCSE cold war and Ireland, along with A level Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Learning about dictators, the effect of economic depressions, revolutions, personal feuds etc. are far more relevant AND interesting
Then you obviously don't like history in full, just a small segment of it. (dislike my comment if you must)
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pinkpont
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#50
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
History being taught today currently is far more relevant than ancient history. We studied GCSE cold war and Ireland, along with A level Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Learning about dictators, the effect of economic depressions, revolutions, personal feuds etc. are far more relevant AND interesting
Relevant is merely a perspective: in your case, a very tightly defined social, political and economic perspective. Besides, thinking that Ancient history has no value is a very blinkered and ignorant - European languages, law, social structures, philosophy, religion, they can all be directly linked back to the Ancient era. I have far more fun digging around the Catholic Church's extremely dark past than discussing Hitler's motives to death for the millionth time
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cardine92
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#51
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Essentially, history is taught the same in secondary as it is in primary. I get it with little kids, when you're 7 a week seems like an age so there's not much point in doing anything apart from dressing up as vikings or whatever. But in secondary I found that they continued to teach topics in isolation, only in GCSE did we get past that.

Maybe year 7 for example should just be a summary of human history. I mean, what was the point of knowing what a Motte and Bailey castle was when I didn't understand what the Medieval period was or what else was happening in the world at the time.

To be fair, history is big. Epically big and there is only so much you can cover but there really should be some effort to give an overview ie. the Romans were around at the same time as Jesus and there was a bit of an overlap with the Egyptians or why there are white people from South Africa, because that confused the **** out of me when I was little.
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CameraGirl
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#52
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i know, i only did histrory up to year 9 when it was compulsory, and it was so badly taught, my knowledge of history is embarrassingly appalling, and i didn't develop an interest in it. loved the tudor and ancient egyptian stuff at primary school though, and i like hearing about history, but no motivation to study or research it tbh.

i blame crappy schools and crappy teachers.
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tite23
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#53
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Well in America, Advanced Placement histories definitely deal with ancient eras. At least, World and European history do. World = pre-Roman forward, European = pre-Renaissance forward, American = pre-Columbian exchange forward. Good stuff, history.
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That Bearded Man
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#54
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(Original post by multiplexing-gamer)
Then you obviously don't like history in full, just a small segment of it. (dislike my comment if you must)
I'm not disliking it - then again I disagree, to be honest though I would rather learn about the details of say, the Russian revolution than, say, the Normans. That's just my opinion
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That Bearded Man
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#55
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(Original post by pinkpont)
Relevant is merely a perspective: in your case, a very tightly defined social, political and economic perspective. Besides, thinking that Ancient history has no value is a very blinkered and ignorant - European languages, law, social structures, philosophy, religion, they can all be directly linked back to the Ancient era. I have far more fun digging around the Catholic Church's extremely dark past than discussing Hitler's motives to death for the millionth time
Fair point, modern history is just far more interesting for me
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pinkpont
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#56
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(Original post by That Bearded Man)
Fair point, modern history is just far more interesting for me
To be fair, I used to be an avowed modernist as well, it's amazing how much can change in a couple of years. The method of teaching plays a very, very big role too - any period of history can be turned into what seems like the most exciting period ever, or as dull as ditchwater depending on the teacher. I've been lucky enough to have several incredibly good medieval and late antique lecturers, they really helped me get into it
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