Names that shouldn't be left out of Scottish history

8th March 2013 at 00:00

Several under-appreciated figures from Scottish history should be studied in schools, members of the public believe - but William Wallace gets barely a mention.

Poet Robert Tannahill, socialist politician Thomas Johnston, and Alexander McGillivray - a Native American chief who had a Scottish father - were among the names that cropped up when the Scottish Association of Teachers of History asked which "significant people" pupils should learn about.

Adolf Hitler and Robert the Bruce were by far the most common suggestions, in what SATH president Neil McLennan said was the first survey of its kind.

The report is concerned that German history is associated only with the rise of Hitler and the Second World War, as it is "unhelpful in promoting citizenship and in promoting history as more than a single event".

It calls, too, for more women's history - women made up only one in 10 of the "significant people" suggested by the public - and a "renaissance" of local history.

"Curriculum designers need to be cautious to ensure that women feature equitably in both course design and assessment design," the report recommends.

Respondents were also asked to list events that should be studied in school: their suggestions spanned the 575 Treaty with Drumcreat and the 911 terror attacks that took place in New York in 2001.

Others include the little-documented 1018 Battle of Carham, Scotland's industrial decline and the Korean War.

The report, which draws on 98 replies, highlights the Crusades as a particularly important event about which many pupils leave school with little or no knowledge.


Top 20 "significant people" respondents want pupils to learn about in school

Adolf Hitler

Robert the Bruce

James Watt

Thomas Paine

Robert Tannahill

Mao Zedong

Vladimir Lenin

John Knox

William Beveridge

Winston Churchill

James Connolly

Franklin D. Roosevelt

David Lloyd George

Thomas Johnston

David Livingstone

Mary, Queen of Scots

Alexander McGillivray

Andrew de Moray

Cardinal Richelieu

Joseph Stalin.

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