Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Honora

Michael Gove's latest

Recommended Posts

Honora

Any comments on Gove's latest pronouncements in a newspaper read by thousands?

In an article for the Daily Mail, Mr Gove says he has little time for the view of the Department for Culture and the Foreign Office that the commemorations should not lay fault at Germany’s door.

The Education Secretary says the conflict was a ‘just war’ to combat aggression by a German elite bent on domination.

‘The First World War may have been a uniquely horrific war, but it was also plainly a just war,’ he says. ‘The ruthless social Darwinism of the German elites, the pitiless approach they took to occupation, their aggressively expansionist war aims and their scorn for the international order all made resistance more than justified.’ ........

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2532923/Michael-Gove-blasts-Blackadder-myths-First-World-War-spread-television-sit-coms-left-wing-academics.html#ixzz2pKi0KPES
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Honora

ps and I just hate the use of 'uniquely'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steven Broomfield

Spot on, Mr Gove. Well said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevem49

So, why don't he let 'em teach WW1 in schools then :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SiegeGunner

The most sense Gove has spoken in a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John_Hartley

The most sense Gove has spoken in a long time.

It may even be a first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steven Broomfield

Am I alone in pondering whether Honora thought we'd think differently?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keithmroberts

Gary Sheffield is due to comment during radio 4's World at One provided the item is not washed out by floods of other news.

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keithfazzani

I believe it is being taught in schools. I am visiting a secondary school next week who are helping, I believe as part of their curriculum, to prepare the presentation for the local museum with whom I am working. I shall be interested to learn "on the ground" as it were, the reality of the teaching of WW1 in our schools, rather than the reports in the media.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Hone

The Great War is taught in schools. It is one of the topics that virtually all secondary schools will cover at some point in the compulsory teaching of the subject in the first three years. It is also widely taught as a GCSE topic. War poetry (which basically means Wilfred Owen) is a very common component of secondary school English syllabuses. See numerous previous threads where the myth of non-teaching of the First World War has been aired and refuted. Where did you get the idea that it isn't taught?

I would refer people to the interesting discussion about History teaching on the Radio 4 'Start the Week' programme on Monday. This included a section on teaching the Great War. Apart from the fact that they didn't find it necessary to include a History teacher on the panel, I thought that it was quite illuminating with Mr Gove on more emollient form than usual. For once more light than heat seemed to be generated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kevmc

So, why don't he let 'em teach WW1 in schools then :w00t:

It is and has been for a number of years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion

The Shefield interview was interesting - the balancing interviewee - a very pre revisionist prof expressed thje view that Britain could not be fighting for Freedom and democracy until non democratic Russia was out of the war - by that logic Britain stopped fighting for freedom and democracy in WW2 when the non democratic USSR entered it in 1941!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honora

No, I do not think differently and did not think you would think differently.

but I do worry about the quality of some of the comments made at the bottom of the article.

Where has the teaching of history gone wrong in the last x number of years? - my history learning in the 1960s and 70s had vast chunks missing and I do not think that a syllabus teaching Medicine through Time and the American West 1840-1895 (AQA) is sufficient to enable those who do not take the subject further to have any real sort of understanding where we come from. I stand to be corrected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Clay

^^ Listen to the Sheffield /Sir Richard Evans discussion here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01p8591

Evans suggests that far from fighting for democracy, even the UK was not at the time a democracy ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John_Hartley

even the UK was not at the time a democracy ...

There'd be some logic in that - what with half the adult population disenfranchised for parliamentary elections and it being a greater percentage for local elections.

Edited by Kate Wills
diversion into wider political comment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevem49

We did it as A level but now it is the cold war etc (about 20 years ago). True they get a bit of it in years 10 or 11 but the only way to do it in depth is a A level.

My Kid decided not to do History A because of this change.

The defining time of the 20th century should get more coverage in my humble opinion. Without WW1 it can be argued that we would not have had the cold war and of course WW2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion

No, I do not think differently and did not think you would think differently.

but I do worry about the quality of some of the comments made at the bottom of the article.

Where has the teaching of history gone wrong in the last x number of years? - my history learning in the 1960s and 70s had vast chunks missing and I do not think that a syllabus teaching Medicine through Time and the American West 1840-1895 (AQA) is sufficient to enable those who do not take the subject further to have any real sort of understanding where we come from. I stand to be corrected.

When it comes to leaving chunks of history out I would cite a one time mayor of Wiesbaden as the doyen. I was attending a conference there and as part of the opening his washup gave us a history of his fair city and boy was he boring! "And then in 1762 a new horse trough was installed in yawningstrasse" sort of stuff. Still by the time we'd trudged to 1910 I thought we might get something more interesting happening - then he jumped straight to JFK's visit to Germany! Yes folks absolutely nothing happened in or around Wiesbaden between 1910 and 1962

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Hone

Steve:I don't think that the changes you are describing are anything to do with the government or Mr Gove. They are simply the optional study units chosen by a particular school for A-Level. Despite some trimming by the exam boards over the years, History still has the most optional topics of any A Level subject. Within certain restrictions, schools are given a free choice as to which combination of topics they study. Some will do mainly Modern units, others Medieval, Early Modern etc. We do a bit of a mixture but with an emphasis on 19th and 20th Century Britain. Schools that do a Modern World History GCSE course, as we do, also have a choice of topics to study but most will cover the First World War.

Honora: you are describing the Schools History Project GCSE syllabus which tries to cover a range of topics, some in depth, others in breadth, like Crime and Punishment or Medicine. More schools do the alternative Modern World syllabus which covers the two World Wars, Cold War etc. That gets criticised because its coverage seems too narrow! The problem, as recognised in the 'Start the Week' discussion, is that there simply isn't time to teach everything and nobody has ever agreed on what to teach and when in over a hundred years of often anguished debate on the matter. See David Cannadine's excellent book 'The Right Kind of History' to see how essentially the same depth/breadth and chronological survey versus individual topics arguments have been going on for decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stevem49

Thanks Mark.

Sadly for the first time in many years, they could not get enough students (yr11) to go on the battlefield trip. Maybe the school need to have a re-think.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion

Thanks Mark.

Sadly for the first time in many years, they could not get enough students (yr11) to go on the battlefield trip. Maybe the school need to have a re-think.

Steve

Simple just say that they aren't good enough to go - parents will then turn up in droves demanding their rights to send Johnny/Jennifer to the battle fields

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
andiS

I'm really worried about this, because I actually find myself broadly agreeing with Michael Gove! I work in education and I can confirm that most of what he says about education in the UK is misguided drivel at it's best, but I think he's generally saying much of what I've been saying for years about the general public opinion of the Great War.

As to the way it's taught in schools, generally you get it in y9 so most kids get some exposure to it. The problem is as I see it the people who teach history today, and the authors of text books, are all people who learned about the Great War from those with the prevailing mud, blood and poppycock attitudes of the time, reinforced by the fact that the english curriculum has war poets on it which are rather hard to re-interpret in any different light really. You could do WW1 in great depth very well, as you could with any period, but when you've got to belt through everything from the middle ages to 1945 in an hour and half a week over 3 years you leave a lot of detail out because othewise you'd not make it out of the tudors...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bmac

Funny Gove doesn't mention that well known 'leftie' Allan Clark and his significant tome 'The Donkeys' (which perhaps inspired 'Oh what a lovely war'). Outrageous that he should have been allowed to continue as a Conservative MP for 25 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keithmroberts

Can we please be very careful not to stray into politics or current affairs. Current tightrope walking has mostly been remarkably finely balanced, please let us keep it that way.

Keith Roberts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Hone

Steve: Sorry to hear that. I'm lucky in not having any trouble filling our annual tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terry_Reeves

Gove's statement is little more than spin. He has little grasp of the complexity of the events leading to the outbreak of war and it is intended, it seems to me, to make him more of an intellectual than he really is. With regard to his Blackadder comments which his department released to the press, it appears that his press secretary has fallen down on the job: it was just a piece of entertainment rather than than any attempt to produce a real view of the events of WW1.

Incidentally, I don't see any comments coming from his office about Allo, Allo, which preceded Blackadder but is of exactly the same genre.

TR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Seadog

Goodness I do wish I had received a formal educational instead of leaving school at 9 years old to follow me dad down pit where I stayed until I was 18. I have just one simple question which could be easily answered by all those with enormous brains that write them there books etc. The question is:-

Given that Germany invaded and subjugated Belgium and large parts of France, just what were the Allies supposed to do; if the answer is nothing then we would still be manning the trenches now.

As I say I am not clever enough to know the right answer so contributions would be appreciated

Thanks

Norman. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...