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History Education in Primary Schools - Essay Example

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Education HISTORY EDUCATION IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS INTRODUCTION: Among the oldest of formally taught subjects, History education has often been a core portion of children’s education worldwide. Though with the advent of formal educational institutions and a more dispersed pool of subjects, History itself has become a very generic term with countless subparts becoming vast areas of study…
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History Education in Primary Schools
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History Education in Primary Schools

The pedagogical imperative of such historic education was to harbor conformity, rather than the modern notion of enabling critical though. 1 Colonialism and the World Wars brought about a change in how history would be taught, especially after Education became the state’s function. The emphasis then shifted towards a nationalistic approach of teaching history, what we term as propaganda. We now we live in an era where history is studied in a global context, with the supplementary aim of creating a sense of multiculturalism and diversity. Among the roles of history education, especially in the current context of increased cross cultural interaction, the role of History Education includes: 2 Schools as Social transmitters Promoting active Citizenship Making History Real Promoting Positive Values The same study suggests that debate on the role of history education usually occurs on: Nature of truth Tempering truth Avoiding Moral Relativity While the methodology and focus of history education might be a matter of debate, the importance of this area of study remains uncontested, particularly from a functional aspect. FOCUS OF HISTORY EDUCATION: The focus of history education has often been a matter of debate between politicians and the academia, the crux of which has primarily been the purpose of teaching history. Politicians like the British education secretary, Michael Gove3, claim that the purpose of history education is to inculcate a sense of nationalism in the students so that they are in touch with their political and cultural roots. A score of policy makers believe that the history currently being taught in schools deviates from important British history and is more inclined towards European history and global events. This would obviously imply trimming and framing the curriculum with selected facts and information that would reinforce patriotic sentiments in the targeted students. Academians like Dr Marcus Collins, of Loughborough University, claim that such a selective approach of history education is reminiscent of a subtle form of propaganda, that has been a feature of undemocratic nations. This school of thought believes that the most pressing issue with history education isn’t the curriculum, but the amount of time that is devoted to teaching history. Where history education should be made compulsory to higher levels of education, policymakers are bent towards further curtailing the time that is allotted to teaching history. If this notion is translated to educational policies, then history education will indeed become impotent in imparting the necessary analytical skill set it sought out to cater to. It is believed that British history cannot be isolated from European history as much of Britain’s political activity took place beyond its borders, across continents. This debate is part of the government’s frustration over the liberal academic approach that is prevalent in schools, citing a lack of focus and discipline as major issues. As a consequence, the government4 has erected a new program where military officials will be planted as teachers in school to maintain decorum and cement a more focused approach to teaching with the notion of the ‘ ... Read More
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