There’ll always be an England, but English schoolchildren won’t know much about it. Britain’s nationally directed history curriculum no longer will require students to learn about Winston Churchill, Gandhi or Stalin. From the Evening Standard:
Secondary schools will strip back the traditional curriculum in favour of lessons on debt management, the environment and healthy eating, ministers revealed.
Even Winston Churchill no longer merits a mention after a drastic slimming-down of the syllabus to create more space for “modern” issues.
Along with Hitler, Gandhi, Stalin and Martin Luther King, the former prime minister has been dropped from a list of key figures to be mentioned in history teaching.
This means pupils may no longer hear about his stirring speeches during the Second World War, when he told Parliament that defeating Hitler would be Britain’s “finest hour”.
The only individuals now named in guidance accompanying the curriculum are anti-slavery campaigners Olaudah Equiano and William Wilberforce.
Schools also are being told to mix subjects together and offer some very short classes so other classes can run longer.
Five-minute lessons on spelling, French or German could be “drip-fed” throughout the day.
Five minutes of French? Why bother?
Betsy, a history teacher, says her U.S. students are fascinated by Churchill.
They love hearing stories about him and excerpts from his speeches. When I get to that period in history, I have about 40 Churchill quotes that I put up around the room, just to give them something to look at in the remote chance that they are bored in class. Every year, I get so many kids who get such a kick out of reading those quotes and memorizing some of the better ones. If American teens can get chills hearing about Churchill, just imagine what British kids would feel.
History without heroes is very dull, though not as dull as debt management and healthy eating.