In the context of the United Kingdom, but with specific reference to England, the teaching of history in secondary schools has enjoyed a creative and vibrant energy in the last quarter of the 20th century. The ‘New History’ developed approaches which saw the learner as an active enquirer into the past, exploring not just the ‘what’, but also the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of historical knowledge, and the variety of ways it can be interpreted. A dynamic discourse within the subject community supported history regularly being identified as the best taught subject in the curriculum, and created a status for history teaching in England which had an international profile.
Given this, it is perhaps surprising to assert that history is in danger. Recent curriculum reform has tended to marginalise history, reducing time allocated to its teaching, integrating it with other subjects, or excluding it from the curriculum offered to many learners. Referring to Foucault’s analysis of neo-liberal governmentality, this article will analyse the rationale for these curriculum changes and assert the ‘cost’ of this marginalisation in terms of inequalities and citizenship.
|Keywords:||Education, Curriculum, History, Humanities, Citizenship, Neo-Liberalism, Governmentality|
Lecturer In Education, PGCE History Course Tutor, School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
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