History guide in the making

5th June 2009 at 01:00

In your news item, "Actions speak louder than words" (May 22), Gill Robinson is reported as saying that additional material will be issued to go with the new curriculum experiences and outcomes in literacy, numeracy and science.

It may be that these were put forward as examples, but it is my understanding that additional guidelines will also be issued for history in order to ensure a reasonably systematic coverage of Scottish history in terms of time periods and within an overall balance of wider British, European and world contexts.

While the outcomes and experiences for "people, past events and societies" cover some important historical concepts, skills and generic topics, including a number of references to Scotland, they could still be overtaken by studying quite a restricted amount of Scottish history andor relatively little of the wider British, European and world contexts. This would disadvantage young people in terms of their understanding of the society in which they have to live and work, both nationally and internationally, and would also run counter to public expectations and recent all-party political commitments.

This is why the Scottish Government's curriculum working group on history has agreed that additional guidelines are needed, although their precise scope, format and status have yet to be decided.

Tom Monaghan, president, Scottish Association of Teachers of History.

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