History is no place for blind patriotism

24th December 2010 at 00:00

Sue Russell's vision for "embracing our Britishness and celebrating what we have" would surely be a backward step (Letters, December 10). As teachers, we must strive to educate our young adults to become informed, engaged and, above all else, critical members of society. History is about so much more than school-based patriotism. It should lead students to embrace skills of enquiry and critical understanding.

As part of celebrating our Britishness, Ms Russell suggests devoting more time to learning about the monarchy. For what purpose? We should be encouraging our students to look at our heritage critically and questioning the role of the monarchy within the context of British democracy.

We have evolved from looking at pink maps of the world and lists of kings and queens. Contrary to much conventional educational thinking, patriotism has no place in the classroom. Enquiry, analysis and questioning does.

Scott Padbury, PGCE student, University of Bristol.

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