The Daily Mail is highlighting claims by a Cambridge don that teachers are helping to foster resentment by presenting history as the struggle of minority groupsHistorians in the News
tags: Cambridge, Robert Tombs
Liberal teachers who present history as the struggle of minority groups may be fostering resentment among pupils, a Cambridge don has warned.
Robert Tombs, Professor of French History at St John’s College, said while such views were ‘fashionable’ they might be doing more harm than good.
He said that focusing on groups’ ‘separateness and victimhood’ within a country clashed with a sense of ‘shared national narrative and a common national identity’.
And he warned that by presenting these stories in a ‘one-sided’ way, teachers could ‘create present-day divisions and resentments’ among pupils which did not exist before.
Professor Tombs said projects such as ‘Black History Week’ and holocaust memorial days were ‘generally praiseworthy’ in promoting tolerance and inclusiveness.
But he warned against making the entirety of history a ‘powerful narrative’ of conflict between groups which co-exist in countries today.
He said many have argued that traditional stories of Britain’s journey through history should be ‘challenged’ because they are ‘triumphalist’, and cited the historian Simon Schama. Mr Schama has said ‘argument’, ‘dissent’ and ‘the celebration of division’ should be at the heart of national history. ...
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