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Pupils need heroes in history


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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 05:40 PM

http://news.bbc.co.u...ion/2836569.stm

"Too many young people don't have a solid basic knowledge of British history or a clear view of the significant figures from our past," Mr Mitchell told the independent school head teachers' annual conference.

"Ask them who their heroes are and they will all be ephemeral figures - stars of sport and pop music."


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#2 Richard Drew

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 05:52 PM

sounds just like what prince charlie was saying the other week.

i have a few issues with this:

how can we teach much more british history? the KS3 NC is full of it anyway.

kids always have modern figures as their heroes, those with historical figures as heroes have always seemed a bit freaky and disturbing to me!!!!

surely this removes the whole issue of interpretations from history, but your hero is my villain - see the grand old debate on churchill that reigned here a few months ago.

once we start picking heroes we start imposing judgements and values on the kids (just like the geography problem on an old thread about the charity worksheets)

we also get into the sticky area of using modern values and judgements to decide on the merit of past figures



i could teach heroes all day, but my classes would have no skills and would have my twisted view of the world and its heroes - what a waste of time.
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#3 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 06:11 PM

I'm sure that my list of heroes would make them change their minds! ;)
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#4 Guest_andy_walker_*

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 06:15 PM

Karl Marx, Klaus Von Stauffenburg, and Lenin (for services to royalty) top my list!

#5 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 06:26 PM

And we are back on the old dead white men of history debate again. These comments are from reactionary old skool types - they need to get along to a few SHP conferences that will sort them out!
Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
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#6 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 06:26 PM

Wat Tyler, Jack Jones, Violette Szabo, Spartacus, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Georgi Zhukov, Yuri Gagarin, Huey Newton, Ned Kelly, Tony Benn, Harry Pollitt and James Connolly for me!

Oops I didn't mention Horatio Nelson! B)
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#7 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 06:37 PM

What about Mary Seacole, Sylvia Pankhurst, Boudicca, Elizabeth Garret Anderson, Constance Markievicz, Amy Johnson, Emily Wilding Davison, Barbara Castle?
Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
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#8 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 07:23 PM

Klaus Von Stauffenburg

Does an aristo. like v. Stauffenburg not sit a little oddly with your heros of the left? Besides, it's not as if he managed to bump Hitler off, is it? His plans for the future of Germany post-Hitler would hardly have met with your approval either. :(

#9 Guest_andy_walker_*

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 07:36 PM

Does an aristo. like v. Stauffenburg not sit a little oddly with your heros of the left? Besides, it's not as if he managed to bump Hitler off, is it? His plans for the future of Germany post-Hitler would hardly have met with your approval either


All very true....... you see I'm a complicated person after all!!! :D :D

I run a regular study tour to Berlin and one of our frequent visits is to the Museum of German Resistance. Here they tell the story of the July Plotters and also show a documentary film of the Peoples Court trials after the plot failed.... I find the dignity, humanity and courage of the men involved very moving, (especially in the face of the onslaught of that little turd Roland Freisler). Aristos or not I'd have been with them!

#10 neil mcdonald

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 07:43 PM

I don't know. I see nothing wrong in a project to examine a Historical Hero. The use of research, critical use of sources etc would be of good use. It could lead to a good debate on interpretations. I look at LBJ as a bit of a hero (His inter personal management skills were a little off though!) I don't know, a see myself as a more centre right man
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#11 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 08:06 PM

I think Eisenhower was the least 'bad' of all the recent presidents. The present one being the most of course.

LBJ was a teacher wasn't he.
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#12 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:00 PM

People still don't seem to be getting my point - all this talk of heroes just leads us back down the path of studying dead white men if we are not careful.

Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)
Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
comptonhistory.com
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#13 robbudd

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:10 PM

I think it is a good idea to put some "hero" on a pedestal for a short time and to start debunking then in the sense of bringing back a person to human proportions or to show the black side of the picture. In this way history serves the truth better I suppose and it will arm young people mentally.

#14 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 09:20 PM

Going back to Richard's point about being able to teach any more British history - the subject has been squeezed so much in some schools that the kds are lucky to be taught ANY History. I certainly don't have the time to really celebrate the achievements of any 'heroic' tales from the past. An hour a week of the subject isn't enough to provide any kind of real understanding, certainly not enought o develop a true love of the subject and instigate a passion for different characters from the past.

#15 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 10 March 2003 - 11:04 PM

All very true....... you see I'm a complicated person after all!!! :D  :D
......  Aristos or not I'd have been with them!

Aren't you just! - complicated.

I can well understand the admiration for the dignity of these men, but wonder why you wouldn't prefer to admire a man like Wilhelm Leuschner (just to name one) who did a d----d sight more than v. Stauffenburg to resist the Nazis and who faced the aftermath of the Plot with equal dignity.




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