Geek alert. I have long believed that the life and work of Thomas Paine is underappreciated in the UK. All too often, even those who've studied history andor politics don't really grasp the full, fascinating story of the man who has a claim on being Britain's greatest global revolutionary. Paine penned Rights of Man, was a leading philosophical figure in the American War of Independence and played a major role in the French Revolution. Not bad, eh?
Conversely, I also feel the same about Paine's contemporary Edmund Burke. Another Brit (albeit Irish by birth), this philosopherpoliticianjournalist could reasonably claim to be the founding father of modern Anglo-American conservatism. Without Burke, one could argue, there would have been no Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan or George W Bush.
And yet neither appear by name in England's new national curriculum. Should they? My instinctive answer is an impassioned: "To understand Britain, to understand the modern world, truly you must understand the Paine-Burke axis!"
The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.
Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.