SCHOOL IS NOT THE PLACE FOR LESSON IN OUR HISTORY, MIKE
EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove is apparently appalled that so few kids sign up to study GCSE History.
Fewer than 30% of youngsters in our comprehensive schools took the subject and last year, and 159 comps didn’t enter a single pupil.
This surprises me not a jot. Because history – as it is taught in schools – is a load of old arse.
In fact, school is the place where the most interesting subjects are turned into dull-asditchwater dogsh*te.
Look at another subject: Physics. Him out of D:ream – Professor Brian Cox – makes TV programmes that show what a brilliant subject it is.
Yet I recall physics classes with dread. What a crashing bore they were.
But back to history. I’ve always been fascinated by the subject but didn’t study it atGCSE – because the syllabus looked about as interesting as watching hair grow.
Back in my day, it was all about what peasants ate for supper and what sort of shoes they wore in workhouses.
Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather play with the sharp things in the metalwork room.
These days, at least, the syllabus looks like it contains a few more flashes and bangs – but it ain’t going to throw up the next Simon Schama.
Here’s what’s on offer, according to the BBC revision website: World War One and Two, The Cold War, Britain 19051951, Germany 1918-1939, Russia/ USSR 1905-1941, USA 1919-1941, Vietnam 1954-1975, Northern Ireland 1965-1985, Medicine Through Time, American West, Germany 1918-1939.
You could get the basic lowdown on all of the above by watching the History Channel for an afternoon.
And I’ll bet the telly will present it in a more entertaining way than some half-arsed teacher wondering when she can next get away with going on strike.
What about pre-1900? The Boer War? The Battle of Waterloo? Cecil Rhodes? India?
Where are the Tudor monarchs? The Great Plague? The Armada? The Normans? The Romans?
Anyone with a passing interest in history would be sold short by the subject as it is taught in schools. In fact, kids taking history at GCSE will probably grow to hate the subject.
History’s the way we make sense of what’s happening today. It’s fascinating and exciting – and far too important to be left to teachers in the classroom.
So Mr Gove, don’t be downhearted that so few kids are learning history at school, because that’s the worst possible place to find out about it.
SUPPOSE I should say Happy Christmas at this point.
And if my saying Happy Christmas offends you, f*** off!
THE last U.S. troops have pulled out of Iraq, almost nine years after the invasion.
That went well, didn’t it?