Scots past is not a foreign place

11th November 2005 at 00:00
What did Peter Peacock actually say about the place of history? We are happy to set the record straight as the media this week fed on a frenzy about the alleged demise of the subject in secondary.

The Scottish Daily Mail picked up a small piece in a TES Scotland report last week from our seminar in Inverness at which the Education Minister commented in general terms about the future curriculum. The BBC followed up, hotly pursued by the Scotsman and Herald, prompting a series of opinion pieces and letters in national dailies. Mr Peacock has subsequently denied any plan to downgrade history. This is what he said in reply to a question:

"You made a very good point that teachers in primary school teach children and secondary teachers teach subjects. I think you're going to see much more themed learning in future around the outcomes from the curriculum.

"I was asked by a history teacher recently, rather strangely in a sense, was I making history a thing of the past. He was referring to the profession of teaching history. And I said, absolutely not. Everybody's got to have some sense of understanding of place, of how we got here, what are the lessons to be learnt of how I got here? But whether you teach history as a subject in that way, in your own classroom, in your own allocated time, is questionable.

"It may be part of another part of learning that we connect to mathematics or to English or to a language or to whatever. We're going to see a broad movement of learning through themes rather than just subjects."

Leader 26

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