Our heritage: use it or lose it

Primary History article

By Mike Corbishley, published 19th July 2009

Please note: this article pre-dates the current National Curriculum and some content and links may be outdated.

Mrs Markham's influential textbook, ‘A History of England', was first published in 1819 but was still being printed at the end of the nineteenth century. At the end of each chapter is a ‘Conversation' where the children ask their mother questions, such as the one above.

But is history really of any use today? Mrs Markham dealt in ‘facts' and was quite sure it was, but I don't think we can do what she suggests and wait until children become old enough to appreciate the importance of history. We need to help our children understand that, unless they have a concern for the physical evidence of the past, it will be gone, forever. We must treat history like our post offices and cherish what we still have. The National Curriculum encourages teachers to help children become better, more active, citizens. Thinking about issues which affect us all is an important part of both history and citizenship studies. We should also think beyond the confines of our own country and see heritage as a global concern. How do other countries treat their heritage? Are World Heritage Sites the most important remnants of our many different pasts?...

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