A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Don't Know Much About History.... even in Jolly Olde Englande

We've talked previously about how social studies education has been de-emphasized or even dropped completely in the NCLB- dominated world in which we live. Apparently, schools in the UK suffer from the same problem, even without NCLB.

Note the sentences I have highlighted below:

Pupils in primary and secondary schools across England lack an overview of world history and have little sense of chronology, Ofsted inspectors warn. The watchdog said the curriculum was too England-focused, ignoring the rest of the UK and Europe.

They also complained that after the age of 13, only one in three children studies history at all.

Ministers and Ofsted say a new secondary curriculum from 2008 will address many of the points raised.

The watchdog based its findings on inspections carried out between 2003 and 2007.

It said the biggest issue for school history was its "limited place" in the curriculum and that history in primaries had been neglected in recent years with the focus on literacy and numeracy.

"History, along with some other subjects, has been relatively neglected in primary schools in recent years as schools have focused on literacy and numeracy," the report said.


"History's limited role is also apparent in secondary schools. In Key Stage 4 (the GCSE years), only just over 30% of pupils study history and fewer still post-16."

The inspectors said the subject also faced prejudice, with some policy developers, senior school managers, parents and pupils seeing history as less important or relevant than other subjects.

Inspectors identified that pupils were poor at establishing a chronology and did not make connections between the areas they had studied. As a result, they were not able to answer the "big questions".

"Although pupils often know something about selected periods or events - for example, children in Victorian times, Henry VIII and his wives or the Aztecs - they are weak at linking this information to form an overall narrative or story."

The report continued: "Pupils of all ages tend to study particular issues in depth but are seldom encouraged to form overviews or draw wider implications."
We've talked previously about how social studies education has been de-emphasized or even dropped completely in the NCLB- dominated world in which we live. Apparently, schools in the UK suffer from the same problem, even without NCLB.

I just have one thing to say, and it's hardly new:

Those who are ignorant of their history are doomed to repeat it.

Just because that's a cliche doesn't make it any less true....

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4 Comments:

At 8/2/07, 7:06 PM, Blogger DrPezz said...

According to a recent editorial, social studies (of all types) are the first subjects sacrificed here in the U.S. while trying to boost state test scores because of NCLB.

Sad. Very sad.

 
At 8/4/07, 10:39 PM, Blogger Jane Nicholls said...

The other evening I was chatting with a very nice young man in Second Life about Harry Potter. We asked each other what part of the world we were in, he responded he was from the US. I then told him I was from New Zealand to which he replied, "Oh, your English is very good". I think this is a definite sign that Social Studies needs to be put back in the curriculum.

 
At 8/6/07, 8:43 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Gaaah! Your story makes me cringe.

You know, my hubby's from New Mexico. Do you have any idea how many times he's been asked if he has to have a passport to come to the US????

 
At 8/6/07, 8:45 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Gaaah! Your story makes me cringe.

You know, my hubby's from New Mexico. Do you have any idea how many times he's been asked if he has to have a passport to come to the US????

 

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