UK Schools Dumping History For Twitter, Wikipedia & Podcasts

Mar 25th, 2009 | By | Category: Commentary, General

The Guardian reports that UK primary schools may soon dump studying things like the Second World War and the Victorians in favor of Twitter, Wikipedia and podcasts:

The proposed curriculum, which would mark the biggest change to primary schooling in a decade, strips away hundreds of specifications about the scientific, geographical and historical knowledge pupils must accumulate before they are 11 to allow schools greater flexibility in what they teach.

The proposed curriculum requires children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain “fluency” in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.

While having kids study new media in primary schools makes sense, it’s also likely that anything they learn now will be obsolete long before they graduate.

Is it time to dump history for new media? Or do you think that schools should stick to the basics?

Image: jakebouma

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5 Responses to “UK Schools Dumping History For Twitter, Wikipedia & Podcasts”

  1. Given the fact that the state enjoys to inject youth with false historical revisionism, I think if students leave school with the knowledge of how to use social media tools is a positive thing.

  2. Vengalis says:

    They would be best off if they taught the classics and spent less time worrying about technology.

    20 years from now, Shakespeare will be Shakespeare, WWII will be WWII, and the Internet sites that you use will be completely different than what you use today.

  3. Rian says:

    Given that info is available at everyone’s fingertips now, and even more so by the time they graduate, I’d say teaching them how to retrieve and share the information they need quickly and efficiently is just as important as teaching them to memorize things.

  4. You’re confusing the content with the delivery mechanisms. They can learn history from Wikipedia (and the sources it points to).

  5. James Lewin says:

    Troy – actually, they are proposing to make knowing how to use tools like Twitter and Wikipedia required, and the content, like history, optional.

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