Teller of talescalls the tune

18th February 2005 at 00:00
Book-burning, catastrophe, awful deviation! The controversialist historian David Starkey tried hard to stir it up at an education conference this week (page 4). Unfortunately, it's difficult to quibble with many of his points.

Schools can learn from TV history; there is no excuse for such a thrilling subject to be dull. Many children do not understand chronology. And yes, German history is a "warning", of which schools are so aware that government advisers have criticised history's "Hitlerisation".

His argument unravels when he condemns EH Carr's What is History? because it "prioritised historians over history". The subject, he says "is fundamentally a branch of storytelling". As a consummate storyteller, Dr Starkey knows facts are not neutral. It matters who is telling the story - the victor or the loser, the king or the peasant, David Starkey or EH Carr.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


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.

Subscribe now