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Should History be made compulsory to 16? (UK) watch

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    Hi,

    I've had to write an assignment for Uni on whether History should be made a compulsory subject to 16 in UK secondary schools and just wondered what everyone's opinion on this is.

    I think it should be because it is a subject that offers cross-curricular skills and provides young people with a knowledge of their nation and the world's history. BUT, I think other changes such as teaching staff and support, budgets and resourcing need to be looked at for it to work. Maybe I'm a bit biased as a soon-to-be History teacher, though!

    So what do you guys think?

    PS. I've already written the assignment so I'm not just asking for you all to write it for me
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    No, because it is no more vital a subject than (say) geography. If we start making more than a very small number of subjects compulsory, then students lose the autonomy that allows them to remain engaged with their learning, and to follow a curriculum that is suited to their strengths, weaknesses and ambitions.
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    Point well made thank you for replying
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    Yes. It's unbelievable how many people I've met that didn't do History to GCSE that have little to no world knowledge. I've known a lot of people who have never heard of the cold war, didn't know what communism was and had no idea about how politics works.

    The history you learn up until 14 is relatively useless anyway.
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    I'm not sure if it should be compulsory to 16 for children, but I do wish it was compulsory for all world leaders.
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    Nope. I didn't take history as a GCSE, therefore stopping at 14. I hated the subject, which was partly due to such ****ty teaching and a lack of interest in the subject.
    If it was compulsory I would of lacked the motivation if I had to take it as a GCSE. Therefore i would of most likely came out with a poor grade in the subject.

    I do understand why some people view it as important but I do not think it needs to be compulsory.
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    No. Tbh people are coming out of school illiterate, innumerate and ready to take out wonga loans at 2000% interest. that's got to be the first priority. Sure history's a very worthwhile option for pupils who are motivated and have aptitude. What would you be making pupils who'd be better off studying something else drop in order to do compulsory history?
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    (Original post by bexl24)
    Hi,

    I've had to write an assignment for Uni on whether History should be made a compulsory subject to 16 in UK secondary schools and just wondered what everyone's opinion on this is.

    I think it should be because it is a subject that offers cross-curricular skills and provides young people with a knowledge of their nation and the world's history. BUT, I think other changes such as teaching staff and support, budgets and resourcing need to be looked at for it to work. Maybe I'm a bit biased as a soon-to-be History teacher, though!

    So what do you guys think?

    PS. I've already written the assignment so I'm not just asking for you all to write it for me
    That's an interesting question actually. I'm still at school so here's my opinion from that perspective.

    I loved history in 1st and 2nd year of high school (I'm Scottish, it's roughly the English equivalent of year 7 and 8). I tried to elect it as a subject for my standard grades but it was oversubscribed, and I subsequently did geography instead. I wish I'd been able to do history as I hated geography and I'm off to do English/Scottish Literature at uni in September, so history would've suited me better.

    I'm not sure if I can really give you a straight answer on this if I'm being honest. In some respects it would be a wise thing to do, considering the mess some of the world is now regarding things like financial crises and wars and stupid and/or spineless people being put in charge of countries (it never fails to amaze me when I see politicians in Houses of Parliament blatantly laughing and heckling each other like monkeys in a zoo. This is OUR country and OUR future, what in God's name makes you think this is something you can merely sit around and LAUGH at?? I've watched children in primary schools negotiate things I better - what a load of pish! Anyway I digress and have too many opinions, haha). If people actually reflected on historical events then it could teach us all compulsory lessons in life about learning from our mistakes and show people, both in lower and higher positions, how to create a more just and fair world.

    This then brings in the argument against. If you make history compulsory, then you could argue that in the same way history teaches us to learn from mistakes, how are we supposed to communicate with one another? Why shouldn't multiple languages be compulsory then? Or in the "Technology Age" with new and rising technological advances discovered all the time why shouldn't we be made to do compulsory computing and ICT studies?

    Taking my own situation, I've grown up in a village where there's a lot of diversity between class systems. My parents brought ne up to speak well and to be proud of being intelligent, but also to stand up for others. I'm a very comfortable middle class, but I go to school with kids that can't afford to pay £1 on non-uniform days. A lot of these kids don't always do particularly well in areas such as English or maths because their from backgrounds where learning isn't perhaps encouraged at home. This is quite frankly shocking and simply not right, class should not come into it but it absolutely does! I think that subject diversity is, of course, a very good thing, but first and foremost schools should ensure that EVERY child has the ability to read, write count and spell to a level which will enable them to get by suitably in life, as these are the skills any employer looks for. Once that has been successful, others doors can open kids, and the world becomes their oyster

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    No way!

    History, sorry for all those who do it, is a pretty useless subject in comparison to those that will get replaced by it should this go ahead. Making it compulsory means less or no time remaining for subjects which students will be interested in or subjects which are actually going to be beneficial to the student.
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    Ugh, I get so carried away, ahaha

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    I think a humanity of some kind should be compulsory, whether it be history, geography or business studies. They all give you some world knowledge and aid analysis and thinking skills. They allow you to take in the bigger picture and learn more about your country/environment which I think helps you achieve a well rounded view of global issues


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad
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    No, what makes it any more important than any other subject
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    Definitely.

    I would say history is an extremely vital subject.
    People need to be able to appreciate the past in order to appreciate what we have.

    You get people all the time with no clue of the history of the UKs democracy going on about how **** the country is etc. and it needs to stop.
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    No

    History has to be very generalised in order to make it useful ... broad and shallow to give a general understanding of UK and world history

    This makes it unsuitable to be taught and/or examined in school

    People who are interested will read/find out for themselves ... people who are not interested will not learn about it in school




    I am amused by the naive thinking that suggests a subject being compulsory in school to 16 would improve general knowledge and/or understanding in the general population
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    I don't agree (not talking about History in particular; just in general) with making people take subjects they don't like up until 16.
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    Like mcdermie said, I think one of those subjects should be mandatory. History gives you such a valuable insight and appreciation for why we are actually here today and even have the society we do. I think learning about the past helps us to not make the same mistakes, which can only be a good thing. It would be shameful for people to not even have alittle knowledge into events such as the "English Civil War" the "Magna-carter" "WW1 and WW2" and thats why I believe we should, tho I maybe a tad bias as I love the history channel and docs! 😋


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    Although it is a very useful subject to develop thinking skills, learning skills and cross-curricular aspects it is no more essential than many other subjects (the core subjects, geography, ICT etc). It is a fantastic subject to study at GCSE, but it doesn't possess more importance than some of the other subjects. I now teach history without a GCSE in it so it is by no means essential.

    My personal opinion is that a student should always choose either geography or history (if their ability allows)

    EDIT: Neg rep on a completely balanced point of view? Pathetic.
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    (Original post by bexl24)
    Hi,

    I've had to write an assignment for Uni on whether History should be made a compulsory subject to 16 in UK secondary schools and just wondered what everyone's opinion on this is.

    I think it should be because it is a subject that offers cross-curricular skills and provides young people with a knowledge of their nation and the world's history. BUT, I think other changes such as teaching staff and support, budgets and resourcing need to be looked at for it to work. Maybe I'm a bit biased as a soon-to-be History teacher, though!

    So what do you guys think?

    PS. I've already written the assignment so I'm not just asking for you all to write it for me
    No.

    Each Secretary of State's obsessions with what should or should not be mandatory skews the teaching profession for a generation.

    There are only so many spaces in a school timetable. As soon as one of those slots is committed to a single subject for every child, every other subject has to compete for places in the remaining slots. The school has to be resourced with enough teachers for the privileged subject which means that there are fewer opportunities for teachers of other subjects.

    If pupils do not study a subject to 16, few will read it at university and there will be fewer teachers. The subject goes into decline until another Secretary of State discovers that children are no longer studying his pet subject and then music or physics or whatever is in turn boosted.

    As soon as Gove announced his (now abandoned) Ebac Mark II you could see headteachers all over the country thinking about how they could make their BTEC business studies teachers redundant. in favour of historians and geographers.
 
 
 
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