Smith J (2022) 'Talk about the questions of the day, shun them not': three late Victorian voices on the place of history in English schools. History of Education, 51 (2), pp. 167-183. https://doi.org/10.1080/0046760x.2021.1977855
This paper brings together the ideas of three writers from the 1880s who argued for an enhanced status for history in the school curriculum. Although there is superficial agreement between the writers in calling for history to develop children’s citizenship and patriotism, each conceives these values differently. Focusing on the teaching of history to children in elementary and third-grade schools, this paper suggests that the considerable plurality of views among advocates of history reflects the underdeveloped disciplinary identity of history in the Victorian academy. However, the paper also contends that, in considering the pedagogic complexity of teaching history to children, these writers were engaging with epistemic debates – about the place of myth-histories and the processes of narrativisation – that would not exercise historical philosophers until the late twentieth century. Then, as now, the school curriculum proved fertile ground for discussion about what history is, and what it is for.
History; patriotism; citizenship; Victorian; historiography
History of Education: Volume 51, Issue 2
|Publication date online||08/11/2021|
|Date accepted by journal||01/09/2021|
|Publisher||Informa UK Limited|