Overhaul history teaching, says Australian Prime Minister
Answering questions at the National Press Club, Mr Howard said it was ridiculous to believe history could be taught without knowing when something occurred, such as the Battle of Hastings or Captain Cook's sighting of the Australian east coast.
"What I want is a recognition that you cannot get people to understand the history of a country unless you have some kind of chronological narrative teaching of history," he said.
"I think there is a real case for a lot of people across the political divide to try and tackle this issue.
"I would like to enlist a coalition of the willing ... to bring about a change in attitudes."
Mr Howard said that while theme or issues teaching had a role, that did not overtake the need to know the dates of events.
"You can't learn history by teaching issues," he said.
"You can only learn and understand history by knowing what happened, why it happened and, of course, teaching of issues and influences is clearly part of that."
Mr Howard said understanding Australian history meant knowing more about indigenous history, the history of Britain and events through Europe.
He warned that some people would vigorously oppose changes to history teaching.
"I think it's something we need to enlist teachers in," he said.
"We're going to strike tremendous resistance from some of the education bureaucracies because they have been, some of them, responsible for entrenching this approach that I've condemned.
"I just think we have done very badly with this over the last few decades."
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library