This British teacher doesn’t think too highly of certain projects:
As a history teacher, I was attracted to such titles as A Classical Education: The Stuff You Wish You’d Been Taught at School and Remember, Remember (The Fifth of November): The History of Britain in Bite-Sized Chunks. From the publisher’s website, it turns out the ‘nostalgic series’ has sold over 1.1 million copies. The fact they are selling so well shows the yearning amongst certain members of the public to teach themselves the traditional, even classical education, which schools today fail to provide.
Whilst teaching history, I am desperate to spend my lessons enthusing pupils about the stuff of the past: stories, events, characters and changes. However, the National Curriculum and GCSE exams, not to mention inspections from SMT, conspire to prevent me from doing this. Whilst I want to pass on a significant knowledge of history to my pupils, I am expected instead to give them skills: the spurious skill of source analysis to spot bias at one hundred yards; the skills of collaboration to model Hitler and Stalin out of Play-Doh; and the skill of empathy to sit in a puddle and consider what life was like as a medieval peasant.