What do you remember being taught in your history lessons in secondary school? The Tudors, perhaps the Romans, the English Civil War and the two World Wars? For the seven years I studied history I am glad that we studied wars and monarchy but it seems a shame that I know little about the history of medicine, technology or engineering. Some may say Biology and Technology classes should cover this but they rarely do. We did about Jenner's discovery of Penicillin which was fascinating but that was it. In a time of great education changes in the secondary arena there are already discussions of curriculum changes; making what is taught more useful to students and their need to be able to adapt skills to the world of work.
We all have opinions on what should be taught in schools but my confusion has always stemmed specifically from the subject of History. It is such a broad subject and others encroach into its remit. For a country with large industries in technology, healthcare, finance and design it seems bizarre that we are not taught the history of such areas. Why is it, for example, that schoolchildren are not taught that the inventor of the World Wide Web was a British man called Tim Berners Lee in 1991? Learning about wars, ancient empires and monarchy are important but history is so much broader. Perhaps history should be worked more into overlapping subjects and let ICT take over the history of technology, Biology the history of medicine and Sociology the history of reform and social policy.
Having to teach my educated friend with two Master's degrees who Elizabeth Fry was on £5 notes shouldn't be necessary (a nineteenth century prison reformer). As education reformers and politicians wake up to our out-of-date and rigid curriculum I hope along with the enterprise classes, personal finance studies and public speaking workshops they think about the history needed to be taught. Everything has a history to it, every industry, every problem we hear on the news, but we need to prioritise histories to aid employment, open children's eyes and engage them in their rich history as years of the Tudors and WW2 battles can dull.
History should be one of the most fascinating and important subjects. How can we equip young people to be inspired to work in technology creation and healthcare if they know nothing about its rich history of creation and reformation? WW2 should not be scrubbed from the curriculum but not even mentioning the fascinating histories of other events and eras is denying young people the knowledge of inspiring, fascinating and important history.