A vocation for history

21st September 2001 at 01:00
As a head of history in a large comprehensive, your front-page story "12-year-olds to opt out of curriculum" on September 14 made me anxious. History and other humanities subjects have been squeezed out of the curriculum over the past 10 years.

Then I turned to the page 2 report on a psychologist who believes pupils should get the opportunity to discuss the attacks on the US.

The humanities provide an ideal environment to discuss current affairs and to equip pupils with ideas which may help them to make some sense of the atrocity. Those 12-year-olds who have already been "called" to a vocational education will miss out on such opportunities, and a rounded understanding of human nature will be left to those students who are academically able to cope with it.

Colin Mann Gloucester Diary of a New York teacher, Friday magazine, 5

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