On Monday 29 December 2012, just as many in the nation were reflecting on the closing year and hoping that better would come in 2013, the Daily Mail published an article indicating that worse would continue and be compounded.
In that article, Jonathan Petre commented on ‘leaked drafts of the new history curriculum to be published in the New Year’ under the headline:
Screen capture from the Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/10n5A2j)
Highlights of the article included:
• Historic figures, including Winston Churchill, Oliver Cromwell and Lord Nelson will again feature in history lessons;
• The ‘back-to-basics’ shakeup will see overhaul of social reformers like Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole;
• Fears that the reforms, spearheaded by Education Secretary Michael Gove, could anger equality rights activists;
The Daily Mail was itself fuelling the ‘war with equality activists’ by singling out Mary Secole and Olaudah Equiano and making them and ‘politically correct’ teachers who teach about them in the history curriculum the thrust of its story.
‘The likes of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill had been dropped from history lessons under the last Labour Government in a move critics said was driven by ‘political correctness. But under a new ‘back-to- basics’ shake-up, pupils will again have to study these traditional historic figures – and not social reformers such as Jamaican-born nurse Mary Seacole and former black slave Olaudah Equiano, who were introduced into the 2007 curriculum’.
Directly beneath this statement, however, are the images of Mary Secole, William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson, Olaudah Equiano and Florence Nightingale.
Commentary I have seen and heard about these proposed changes to the curriculum have rather missed the seriousness of what Michael Gove is seeking to do, i.e., to write out of history the evidence that we do not all subscribe to the narrative of history involving Britain that this nation and its schooling and higher education system has been ramming down our throats for generations. Read the rest of this entry →