Dr Adam Smith (Access Officer & Senior Lecturer in History at UCL) shares his thoughts on the new National Curriculum

Adam I. P. Smith: Historian

The much-gossiped about new draft national curriculum for history has finally been published. It’s only six-and-a-half pages and is simply a list of stuff that’s happened in English history. Rightly, prominent historians have condemned it for its ‘little England’, facts-over-context character. Unlike some, I have no problem with the idea that history is about ‘citizenship’, and I agree with the basic claim of the national curriculum that a sense of the ‘national’ past is an important part of that. But ‘citizenship’ is also – or should also – be  part of a broad ‘humanist’ education. History should develop a sense of the development of mankind across the world, the interactions among cultures, national groups, the clashes of economic and political interest and the scientific and social developments that have shaped human history. That’s what all humanities education should do. These things cannot adequately be taught through the lens of…

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