I was reading this article this morning, about a teachers interesting new approach to teaching history.
Some people may agree or disagree about whether or not children should be told the 'truth' about certain historical events. At the end of the day truth is subjective just like history. The problem with history is that the past is told by those who win.
When I was a kid we were taught that the failed invasion of Spanish Armada in 1588 was a huge victory for Britain. When I studied it again years and year later, everything wasn't so cut and dry. Both the English and Spanish text books have very different accounts, so who was right?
I had a very fair teacher in the sense that she didn't like to sugar coat history and did her best to challenge us to see beyond the lies and bias with which history is told and retold. The point she made to us was don't take the interpretation and commentary as Gospel, just look at the evidence and draw your own conclusion even if it contradicts the most common opinion.
Until I was 16, School history tried to teach me that the British Empire was a great and marvellous, I often felt like pointing out that half the class were descended form the ex-colonies and we knew better. In fact you'd have to be completely ignorant if you think that anyone from an ex-colony (who knows thier own history) would think that, being invaded and run by a foreign power, stripping your land of its resources, plundering wealth, leaving the native population in poverty and having the nerve to call you 'uncivilised' was a good thing.
E had to explain all of this at one time to a friend of ours at university, who was shocked because that wasn't what he was taught. I understand, I mean what country would be brave enough to teach their past errors in the public education system? Who wants to say that the Empire was responsible for slavery and inventing concentration camps? The answer, its easier to teach what you want people to know, becasue how many are going to be bothered to look beyound what they are taugh in school?
***What not to get for X-mas***