All this happens because the adults pathetically fail to convey a deeper meaning of the historical facts to them. Hence, all the social efforts aimed at isolating and insulating the tender minds by resorting to a diluted and faulty presentation of history do ensure that history gets repeated time and again. Any such efforts strikingly miss the true aim of education, which is to sensitize the young minds by conveying to them the real relevance and true importance of the historical facts and incidents. Hence, the objective of the poem is to ridicule the absurd notions about 'the protection of innocence' through a distorted and concocted rendition of the harsh realities of life.
The speaker in the poem stands to be the poet himself. In a broader context, the speaker represents the concern of the intelligentsia and the serious sections of the adult world, which stand for a holistic and broad based system of education and instruction. Contrary to the belief of many readers, Collins is not the 'history teacher' alluded to in the poem.