Despite the expense of school fees, neither my children nor their friends knew what famous battle was fought in 1815, and that included a few with A grades at GCSE in history. Try asking yours I hope that you get a better result.
The trouble is that history isn’t taught chronologically. It’s not their fault that there are yawning gaps in their knowledge-it’s the fault of the curriculum. Children learn about the Tudors, the World Wars and the American Civil Rights Movement, but nothing in between. I can’t see how they will have a sense of place if they aren’t taught about the history of the place. This year, I’m going to attempt a basic history course at the breakfast table.
However, what they don’t know about history, they do know about technology. If something goes wrong with a mobile phone, computer or television, they can fix it in a moment. Their wonder at my inability to record a television programme successfully mirrors mine over their lack of history. The trouble is that I expect that they will soon know what happened in 1485, 1588, 1688, 1715 and 1805, but I’ll still be left cursing the remote control.