Skip to comments.No lessons on the Holocaust, Crusades, slave trade 'in case pupils are offended'
Posted on 04/02/2007 1:24:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Schools are dropping controversial subjects from history lessons - such as the Holocaust and the Crusades - because teachers do not want to cause offence, Government research has discovered.
The way the slave trade is taught can lead white children as well as black pupils to feel alienated, according to a study by the Historical Association.
A lack of knowledge among teachers, particularly in primary schools, is also leading to "shallow" lessons on emotive and difficult subjects.
Some teachers dropped the Holocaust completely from lessons because of fears that Muslim pupils might express anti-semitic reactions. One school avoided teaching the Crusades because its "balanced" handling of the topic would directly contradict what was taught in local mosques.
The report, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, said: "Teachers and schools avoid emotive and controversial history for a variety of reasons, some of which are well-intentioned.
"Staff may wish to avoid causing offence or appearing insensitive to individuals or groups in their classes.
"In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
The researchers gave the example of one history department in a secondary school in a northern city which decided not to teach the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework.
The report said teachers feared confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils". Christian parents at another school complained about the way the Arab-Israeli conflict was taught.
"In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-semitic sentiment among some pupils, but the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (for 11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques."
The study said too many teachers "play safe". It called for better training in how they should handle difficult subjects.
Emotive issues such as the slave trade can be taught too blandly, portraying Afro-Caribbeans as victims and isolating black pupils, the report said.
But when teachers down play the role of the white authorities in abolishing the slave trade, white children can become alienated.
The report came as Britain marks 200 years since the passing of laws which brought about the end of transatlantic slavery. The anniversary caused angry protests and renewed demands for a formal Government apology for Britain's role in the trade.
Earlier this year, a Government review of citizenship education recommended that all pupils should learn about issues such as slavery and the legacy of the British Empire. Children should be encouraged to develop their own sense of British identity to avoid social divisions widening between different groups, it said.
Okay, okay. But can we still wear our Dracula outfits and impale some muslums come Halloween?
It's probably just as well if they don't teach the Crusades in the public schools, since for as long as I can remember they have been presented as wicked Christian aggression against the nice, harmless Muslims.
Sorry! It's History! Ya gotta teach it to the little worms whether they like the truth or not!
Unless, of course, 'political-correctness' is paramount. In that case, we don't have to teach them anything that happenned from 650 A.D. 'till today!
Teach them how to write on mud slabs with sticks, and proceed to bird-feather quills and goat skins.
No more cars, phones, electricity, indoor plumbing - whoops, got ahead of them there.
In other words, teach them to live ignorant and in squalor. 'Eat with your right hand, and wipe with your left' .............. FRegards
The Left Exposed (Thanks Oneolcop - You found a GEM - MUST Listen!!!)
Very appropriate that you mention the great quote from Santayana. It’s a shame that because of this cowering, the British youngsters won’t even have an opportunity to learn about the roots of their civilization.
Thank you so much for your intelligence and wisdom concerning all this. I learned from you and I wish society, at large, could openly debate these issues. Regarding teachers, some of those in my circles cannot wait to retire.