Monday, 14 September 2009

The Corruption of History (Part 1)

Several commentators have noted the recent survey by University of London's Institute of Education which found that three-quarters of History Teachers regarded the teaching of patriotism as in some way abhorrent .

I am tempted to follow the line of a certain political party (the not very nice one whose site you won't want to visit from the work's computer) displayed here .
Basically , they say that the "research" was done in Inner London schools where the population is not itself British .

"In effect this means that white British schoolchildren are already a minority in Britain’s capital city and unless the immigration invasion is checked and reversed, the vast majority of the next generation of people living in London will be Third World in origin.

Thus it is no surprise to find that teachers in those schools — even if they are white — are cautious about promoting Britishness, as they are in classrooms full of non-British people."

Nothing to worry about as far as the BNP is concerned , as it continues ...
"Any person who lives outside of the major inner cities — in areas with schools which still have British majority population makeup — can confirm that the vast majority of teachers are perfectly at ease with displaying pride in Britain."

I'm not so sure , as I will comment upon later .

Melanie Phillips takes a more pessimistic , and possibly hysterical , line . She hits the nail on the head with this passage , though .
"Perverse though this may seem, it is not actually a surprise. It is merely the latest stage in the deconstruction of education that has been going on for the past three decades - and at the heart of which lies the teaching of history.
Back in the Eighties and Nineties, history teaching was at the centre of a tremendous battle over British national identity.

In one camp were those who believed that it meant transmitting to pupils the story of this nation and its institutions; in the other camp were those who said that to do so was racist.
That was because they subscribed to the view that Britain was itself intrinsically racist: that it had a history of colonial exploitation and that a new society had to be created that would treat the culture of every incomer as equal to the culture of the indigenous British.
More fundamentally even than that, they believed the very idea of a nation with a distinct identity at all was racist.

According to their reasoning, the nation led to nationalism, and nationalism led to prejudice and war. So destroying national identity would eradicate all such horrors and create the brotherhood of man on earth."

She's wrong on only one point here , that history teaching is at the heart of this deconstruction . The assault on literacy and shared social values were at the heart of this anti-educational movement , history is merely a peripheral theatre in this war .

By the time a pupil starts secondary school he will already have been subjected to a debased level of literary education and insipid , leftist morality from which he is unlikely to recover without great personal effort and outstanding character .

Only then will he start the low-level historical study he will receive - 50 minutes per week for 2 years .

Topics so sweeping as "The Egyptians" , "The Romans" or "The Middle Ages" will be marched through in six-week blocks , providing no depth and little in the way of historical understanding .

There will be frequent interventions about politically correct mores , throughout this debased process , together with much cultural relativism .

The real struggle begins in certificate examinations , however .

In Scotland (the only country where I have taught modern History as a school subject) the introduction of Standard Grade exams in the late 1980's provided an immense opportunity for leftist meddling .

Gone was the study of British or European History as events , characters and narrative ; in came history as unbalanced and disembodied "sources" , concentration on "living conditions" and empathy .

One paper concentrated on such "living conditions" and the workers' struggle for equality (guided by the wise and beneficent Party) , while the second told how wicked the Nazis were and how no one should emulate anything they ever thought or did (or for the more adventurous teacher how wonderful the Soviet Union was and how it was a shining beacon for mankind).

In an instant pupils' experience of History had changed from the Great Reform Act to how many rooms a Glasgow tenement flat had in the 1920's , plus how the Party had improved this and so many other things .

This is a corruption not so much of content , though the content was indeed corrupted , but of the mental and critical faculties required to comprehend History .

Thus , those who have finished their full compulsory education at 16 years of age , will , at best , have received a highly blinkered view of the past , entirely circumscribed by Marxist approaches to thought .

This is a great leap , I know , but lacking that Marxist indoctrination , I lack the vocabulary to describe the process . Marxist Dialectic , perhaps ?

The result is the same , whichever way one describes it .

Pupils become either A) sheep or B) mentally equipped only to deal with the world in general , and history in particular , in Marxist terms .

Here endeth the first lesson (on pre-6th Form History) .

More to follow on Higher , A-level and University .

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