British Empire taught in school

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bennyj901
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I find it rather amazing how the British Empire, which brought so much good and evil to the world and arguably impacting it in ways no other nation has before and since, isn't taught at all in school.

I have studied history at GCSE and A level, and the empire is usually only mentioned when it comes to its contribution in the world wars (how the colonies were a big help etc.) and sometimes mentioned in passing in a handful of other topics. It is amazing you have to go out of your way to study it (i.e. in your own time and can go through school in the UK without learning it at all since you can stop studying history entirely in year 9).

So my question is, should the teachings of the British Empire, its good and bad points, be incorporated into the UK curriculum and given more attention at GCSE and A level?
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Vinny C
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Look at the world since we left it? Only problem for most is we are no longer there. We loved it... they loved it... then along came Princip... what a penis! I have a gun… Let's destroy Europe and any chance we have of global schools, global healthcare. Who cares? I'm a prick with a gun!
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999tigger
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(Original post by bennyj901)
I find it rather amazing how the British Empire, which brought so much good and evil to the world and arguably impacting it in ways no other nation has before and since, isn't taught at all in school.

I have studied history at GCSE and A level, and the empire is usually only mentioned when it comes to its contribution in the world wars (how the colonies were a big help etc.) and sometimes mentioned in passing in a handful of other topics. It is amazing you have to go out of your way to study it (i.e. in your own time and can go through school in the UK without learning it at all since you can stop studying history entirely in year 9).

So my question is, should the teachings of the British Empire, its good and bad points, be incorporated into the UK curriculum and given more attention at GCSE and A level?
I find it amazing that you claim to have done GCSE and A level but failed to realise theres a lot of History and you can only ever cover a fraction of it. Had you studied the specification then you will realise there are a lot of options and some of them cover the empire specifically. Learning History is only partly about facts and at A level is about adopting a historical approach when assessing evidence and forming rational arguments.

What I really hate about these threads is the fact is you intent to determine what History students are allowed to study with a big complaint, when in fact man students skip it at GCSE and then A level completely.
Why is the empire any more important than the Tudors or the rise of the Nazis?

So my answer is NO.
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bennyj901
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(Original post by 999tigger)
I find it amazing that you claim to have done GCSE and A level but failed to realise theres a lot of History and you can only ever cover a fraction of it. Had you studied the specification then you will realise there are a lot of options and some of them cover the empire specifically. Learning History is only partly about facts and at A level is about adopting a historical approach when assessing evidence and forming rational arguments.

What I really hate about these threads is the fact is you intent to determine what History students are allowed to study with a big complaint, when in fact man students skip it at GCSE and then A level completely.
Why is the empire any more important than the Tudors or the rise of the Nazis?

So my answer is NO.
I have spoken to people from other schools and other exam boards and they didn't cover the options surrounding the empire either. I am fully aware the historical content is only half the story when it comes to A level in particular (which is another debate in and of itself in my mind). My argument is, German students are well educated on the Nazis, Americans have World History and US history as a standalone subject, and from what I hear the French study a larger amount of their history than we do ours.

I am not attempting to force history down anyones throat, nor am I stating what parts of history are worthy of study. I am saying most people in this country are oblivious to the history of the empire. We are well clued up on World War 2, but our history as a superpower that brought so much good and ill to the world we practically know nothing.

Without getting too pedantic, History is also one of the most popular GCSE choices and is behind only Maths, bio, chem and psychology for A level.
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999tigger
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(Original post by bennyj901)
I have spoken to people from other schools and other exam boards and they didn't cover the options surrounding the empire either. I am fully aware the historical content is only half the story when it comes to A level in particular (which is another debate in and of itself in my mind). My argument is, German students are well educated on the Nazis, Americans have World History and US history as a standalone subject, and from what I hear the French study a larger amount of their history than we do ours.

I am not attempting to force history down anyones throat, nor am I stating what parts of history are worthy of study. I am saying most people in this country are oblivious to the history of the empire. We are well clued up on World War 2, but our history as a superpower that brought so much good and ill to the world we practically know nothing.

Without getting too pedantic, History is also one of the most popular GCSE choices and is behind only Maths, bio, chem and psychology for A level.
If there are 25 options, then its there to study. We cover 50% of the syllabus on British History. How much more would you like?
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username4167452
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(Original post by bennyj901)
I find it rather amazing how the British Empire, which brought so much good and evil to the world and arguably impacting it in ways no other nation has before and since, isn't taught at all in school.

I have studied history at GCSE and A level, and the empire is usually only mentioned when it comes to its contribution in the world wars (how the colonies were a big help etc.) and sometimes mentioned in passing in a handful of other topics. It is amazing you have to go out of your way to study it (i.e. in your own time and can go through school in the UK without learning it at all since you can stop studying history entirely in year 9).

So my question is, should the teachings of the British Empire, its good and bad points, be incorporated into the UK curriculum and given more attention at GCSE and A level?
it has changed under certain exam boards. I did 9-1 GCSE History on OCR and we did the optional unit of british empire and slavery, where we went (relatively) in depth on the british empire and their colonisation of india and other land through the east india company
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bennyj901
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(Original post by 999tigger)
If there are 25 options, then its there to study. We cover 50% of the syllabus on British History. How much more would you like?
Because from what I have heard and seen most schools either pick one option and stick to it, or rotate between one and another. And like I keep saying, I personally think it is wrong we know very little about a key moment in our history. I am of the view the British empire changed and impacted the world in ways we have never seen before and never will see again, yet most people know only a few facts about it, and it is quite astonishing children in other countries know more about our empire's history than we do.
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bennyj901
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Well I am glad to hear that truly. I believe not only is the history of the empire important, but also very interesting. Of course at GCSE there is only so much depth you can get into but I am glad to see more places are adopting these units.
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Tolgarda
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Your school just didn't pick the units that covered the British Empire. I think it's unfairly overlooked during GCSE but A Level syllabi have plenty of it!

Edexcel's thirty-fifth option for their third paper looks at it. OCR's Y3111 option in their A Level syllabus covers the British Empire, as does AQA's option 1J.
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