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Richard Jones-Nerzic

Designing a European history curriculum

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Brussels has just produced a school textbook on the history of Europe for children (Histoires de l’Europe). Each of the 28 members and prospective members of the EU is allocated four pages. British newspapers have been complaining about the omissions from the pages on the UK. This includes the fact that the book fails to mention Britain’s role in the two world wars. However, it does mention the war in the pages devoted to other countries. In the French pages Britain is only because General de Gaulle led the French resistance from London.

The German section does not include the word Nazi. Instead it says “1929 saw a surge in extremist movements… and in 1933 Hitler became chancellor”.

The Sunday Times claimed that the book is an attempt to placate the Germans who have been claiming that they are badly treated in British textbooks.

In my view, it is evident that this sort of politically correct books make politicians feel well, but have nothing to do with teaching history. With all my respect for every European nation, how can you give the same number of pages to France and to Slovenia?

"European" political correctness also makes politicians to miss out controversial periods, tiptoeing about spells of conflict.

I believe that we should stress common features of European history: teaching about Europeans who fought fascism from Germany to Britain from Spain to Russia or teaching about European fascism from Adolf Hitler to Oswald Mosley.

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I believe that we should stress common features of European history: teaching about Europeans who fought fascism from Germany to Britain from Spain to Russia or teaching about European fascism from Adolf Hitler to Oswald Mosley.

That would make a good unit...

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In an earlier discussion, I expressed concern about any rationale for history teaching that includes the word 'nation' or 'country'. Producing a European history curriculum that is based on nations seems to miss the point to me.

This is why I think it important that we teach through themes.

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In an earlier discussion, I expressed concern about any rationale for history teaching that includes the word 'nation' or 'country'.  Producing a European history curriculum that is based on nations seems to miss the point to me.

This is why I think it important that we teach through themes.

I agree. Within themes we can emphasise on differences between nations amongst other perspectives.

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In an earlier discussion, I expressed concern about any rationale for history teaching that includes the word 'nation' or 'country'.  Producing a European history curriculum that is based on nations seems to miss the point to me.

This is why I think it important that we teach through themes.

I agree with this idea. Which kind of themes, when put together could make a main theme, which would best mirror European history of 20th century??

"Ask the expert" is a good platform for creating interesting content for the start but which other sources are needed to create content amount we actually need to put inside?

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