The myths of fact-based history
Robert Peal makes some interesting points ("Cultural ignorance is an Achilles' heel", Comment, 15 May) and it is difficult to disagree with much of what he says. Children have a right to historical knowledge and we have a duty to impart it.
However, there is one caveat: while it is not possible to teach skills without knowledge, it is possible to teach knowledge without skills. Facts are easy to assess - you either know them or you don't - and if this is reflected in the testing regime, it will undoubtedly be reflected in classrooms.
If you then pile the Pelion of accountability on to the Ossa of a high-stakes, reductionist testing regime, you will turn out nothing more than generations of pub quiz champions. Be careful what you wish for.
Independent modern foreign languages consultant
Short and tweet
Good luck to my students writing their language and communication exam this morning! Remember it's Noam Chomsky, not Noel Chomski. ;-)
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