The Future of History
These details are then confirmed by a fuller reference in the bibliography. Eve read the sections on referencing and plagiarism in the handbook or in the WIT plagiarism policy and I understand that only submissions which are free of plagiarism will be awarded marks. By submitting this dissertation I agree to the following terms. I further understand that WIT has a plagiarism policy which can lead to the suspension or permanent expulsion of students in serious cases. (WIT, 2008). Signed: Date: 18/11/2013 Table of Contents A Critique of Haydn, T. 2012) ‘History in Schools and the Problem of ‘The Nation” Education Sciences, 2(4):276-289 Why Chose this Article There is a very high-spirited campaign among Irish academics to present Junior Certificate History in its current format at present, I had planned to critique an Irish academic article on this topic but unfortunately high caliber, carefully considered, peer reviewed materials were simply not at my disposal here, highlighting how excitable but often inadequate the quality of debate on this topic has been to date.
I chose to critique ‘History in Schools and the Problem of ‘The Nation” instead because of the striking parallels between GEESE History targets in England (OCCUR, 2009) and the aims prescribed for Junior Certificate History here in Ireland (NCAA, 2008). Wanted to investigate if the defense of Junior Certificate History is justifiable and if the learning objectives of the subject are still relevant and useful to students a quarter of a century after the revised syllabus was first launched. Background, Discipline and Political Persuasion of the Author Professor Terry Haydn, PhD. Is a highly respected academic and with good cause – he is indisputably an expert in his field. Haydn constantly researches the predicament of History in school settings with University-backed projects such as ‘Children’s Ideas about School History and Why they Matter’ and is regularly published and co published, in academic literatures and esteemed, peer-reviewed periodicals (AAA, 2012). ‘History in Schools and the Problem of ‘The Nation” was published in ‘Education Sciences’, an international, academic, reputable, open access journal (Deed auction Sciences, 2013).
The Quality, Relevance and Compilation of his Sources Heyday’s academic articles are always accompanied by an impressive, purposeful and up-to-date bibliography. Haydn himself appears a conspicuous 6 times in the ‘Nation’s’ bibliography – although on closer scrutiny, the article is a cumulative product of his assembly of empirical data and relevant case studies with papers such as ‘Factors Influencing pupil Take- up of History… ‘ and ‘Pupils’ Perceptions of History at Key Stage 3. ‘ (Haydn, 201 2, p. 286-289). Therefore the multiple self-citations are justified.
Spokespersons in the fortunes of English school History are cited and cross- referenced aplenty – unconstitutionality, politicians, academic historians, subject inspectors, teachers and, aforementioned, school students. The newspapers Haydn references are a model of objectivity – with titles cited equitably from across the Left/Right political gambit (BBC, 2013). Paradoxically though, despite the fair-mindedness and far reach of Heyday’s compilation of source material generally, his academic work always appears to strike the same, preordained political note: a Liberal and Left-leaning one.
Introduction: The Main Issues Raised by the Author The article’s main goal is to discredit the reintroduction of a traditional, triumphal ‘kings and queens’ History syllabus in England. In discrediting the ‘hard line … Humanists of the New Right’s (Phillips, 2006) ‘restoration’ agenda, Haydn spends the article defending England’s current History syllabus, a model recognizably Junior Certificate-like in its breadth.
The Conservative-led New Right, according to Haydn, believe History can be used as a social binding agent for young people, whereas he believes curricular History is ‘mind opening, not socializing. He believes History should be used to encourage young people’s critical and democratic literacy, mandating a balance between regional, National, European and World political, economic, social and cultural History – empowering students with skills to interpret and sees historical events and contemporary civil society for themselves (Haydn, 201 2, p. 84). In Department of Education literature and in my own professional practice recognize these objectives as the same as those prescribed for Junior Certificate History (Department of Education, 1996). The Authors Findings and Conclusions A wide circle of academics echo Haydn of the disconnect of students to the ’emblematically positive portrayal Of… National History in the sass’s and ass’s (Haydn, 2012, p. 282).
Haydn claims that if the same content-driven, nationalistic agenda was still imposed on the Internet savvy students of today, hey would comparatively refute and dismiss such a ‘golden age’ History agenda very quickly online (Thornton, 1990. P. 53). In complete contrast to this, the Internet affords the process-driven Junior Certificate and GEESE History students of the present, the opportunity to connect to the subject like never before.
Haydn finds Junior Certificate-style History adjustable to purpose, promoting right up-to-date 21st Century topics, often transnational in nature – for example ‘the environment, work, poverty, the role of the state, gender, crime… ‘ (Haydn, 201 2, p. 282). The study of History in the first 3 years of an Irish or English Secondary student’s school life is often a History of human activity, as opposed to the previous narrow timeline of heroic Irish or English historic struggle. But Haydn also stresses the deficits of Junior Certificate-style History.
He acknowledges that the widespread practice of students mechanically responding to ‘historical’ snippets is ‘Death by sources a to f, a symptom of the piecemeal effort to teach historical detective skills. He also points out that the fragmented and disjointed teaching of isolated satirical events, often leaves students with an incoherent ‘mental map’ of the past (Haydn, 201 2, p. 280). But Heyday’s criticisms can be offset with the pervasive access students now have to relevant historical illustrations, sources and short movie and documentary clips online.
The Internet facilitates students to behave like History ‘detectives’ at the stroke of a keyboard – an area which Haydn himself has failed to exploit to its full potential at times: there is a total absence Of any uploading activity on his own History slide-sharing weapon to date (Slideshows Inc. , 2013). Live the Internet has fuelled History’s remarking as a favorite ‘academic’ subject (Harris and Haydn, 2008) for present day students.
The Internet affords digitally acquainted students the opportunity to fill in and investigate the historical record of any topic not covered to their satisfaction in class independently. The World Wide Web has connected students to History in a manner only dreamed of by the champions of curriculum reform in the sass’s. With Haydn finding the new syllabus is now enjoyed by a majority, bordering on 70%, of surveyed student populations, in comparison to dents in the sass’s/ass’s, who found the subject ‘useless and boring’ (Hayden, 2012, p. 280), the future of History appears bright.
The Scope and Bias of the Article First I must acknowledge my own bias: I thoroughly enjoyed this article. The more times read, the more impressed was. As a History teacher I was more than satisfied that Haydn captured the essence of the ‘New History’ curriculum effectively, objectively and concisely. His endorsement of the ‘New History’ syllabus was also based an impressive array of empirical and experiential evidence. His attempt to contextual the strengths and nakedness Of the syllabus from a series of important perspectives was not quite as objective though.
In chorus with other scholarly and popular works by Haydn he ultimately surrendered the topic to his Liberal and socialistic predisposition. Even at a subliminal level Haydn echoed the same note. He unintentionally peppered the article in obscure references to flamboyant sass’s Liberal-Leftist historical figures like Thomas Abomination Macaulay and Alexander Augusta Elder-Roiling. Haydn would like you to think this is an article of strict objective solitariness but despite his range and inclusiveness f research, the fringe issue of partisan politics and personality-driven points does exist.
But in the overall scheme of things I believe these issues are not important enough to significantly undermine the article’s robust ‘test of evidence’ and the attention to detail that Haydn devoted to compiling his study. I believe Haydn strikes a Liberal-Leftist chord because he truly believes that that is the most appropriate counteraction to combat the New Right’s ‘restoration’ agenda (Phillips, 2006). Having read widely on this topic, from writers of every hue, I concur with Haydn. The Implications for Professional
Practice The ‘New History Junior Certificate syllabus replaced a ‘received’, rote, nationalistic Intermediate Certificate History syllabus in 1 989, 2 years before England followed suit. When asked the chairman of the 1 989 NCAA curricular reform panel, Peter Gallagher, what the motivation behind the reconstruction of General History was, all his points mirrored those made by Haydn in his ‘Nation’ article (Gallagher, 2013). Gallagher record of events has prima facie credibility because of his central role in General History reform. But the absence Of high caliber, peer reviewed articles on the topic here in
Ireland IS disappointing nonetheless. Think as a community of professionals home-grown theses on this topic should be made available to the Department of Education as a matter of urgency, as the introduction of the new Junior Certificate History syllabus is not to be rolled out until 2017, so preserving and enhancing the most relevant and precious elements, in whatever guise they take, is still possible. Academics in the media are mistakenly lamenting History downgrading from a universal subject to an elective subject because of a lack of proper research to date (Independent. E, 2013). But surveying Ireland’s ‘Council for Curriculum and Assessment’ website I discovered that curricular History is to be re-wired into the new Junior Certificate as compulsory for all students, although not necessarily as the ‘New History’ subject, as we’ve known the last 25 years, but as one of a portfolio of Learning Statements, meaning all students will be minimally required to, “understand… The importance of the relationship between past and current events and the forces that drive change” on Junior Certificate completion (NCAA, 2008).
The demotion to History in Ireland is not in its tutus as a pillar subject, but to the amount of time students will have to devote to it, an issue Haydn records in his article as a deficiency already in existence in England. Our belief in the subject in its current format, as a group of professionals, is warranted and a principle worth fighting for. Haydn doesn’t romanticizes History, he deconstructs it along very rigid academic lines and validates the subject as relevant, empowering and useful for students both in school and in later life.
Overall think Haydn does not go far enough in his affirmation of History, as my teaching of the subject has become more elegant and meaningful with the advent of universal Internet access, in the quality of resources at my disposal and the immediacy of historical events to students online. In fact I now think extra time should be made available to History if we are also to optimize its ‘detective’ element in electronic portfolio project work. Interestingly Peter Gallagher – the chairman of the 1989 reform panel – pointed out that the present Junior Certificate Paper is marked out Of a curious 180 marks.
Originally there was meant to be a separate 220 marks for project work, to be corrected locally in-house but teaching Unions refused o countenance such a suggestion at the time (Gallagher, 2013). Believe if we embed, not just project work, but electronic project work, into Junior Certificate History, as it was originally intended, students, teachers and society itself would stand to benefit from the proceeds of such a progressive, cutting edge mode of History teaching in schools.
Conclusions Reading this article helped me understand the wisdom of reconfiguring History in 1989. The article raised fascinating issues about the value and value systems that refashioned History teaching in Ireland and England. I agree with Hayden that there are shortfalls to ‘New History’ – but not significant enough to reinvent the subject from scratch. ‘History’ in Ireland is the only subject that’s professional Association is affiliated to a federation Of European equivalents – the European Association of History Educators, ‘Resource’ (Resource, 2013).
Junior Certificate History was a product of that collectivities and ably benchmark itself against European best practice and was a subject that was well ahead of the curve both in terms of globalization & digitization. Believe the defense of the current format of Junior Certificate History is justifiable but would be enhanced by retro-fitting the aims and objectives to include portfolio work, albeit internet-enabled and electronic portfolios to keep in check with students’ I. T. Deeds and demands. Academics in the media who applaud Junior Certificate History need to become more familiar with syllabus detail, so their campaign can be taken as seriously as I now unequivocally believe it needs to be. Reflection on Learning ‘Is the high-spirited defense of the current format of Junior Certificate History among Irish academics justifiable? Was the theme that eventually led me to hosing, “History in Schools and the Problem of ‘The Nation” as my article of choice to critique.
Heyday’s ‘Nation’ article was never my first choice, if I wanted to investigate the merits of Junior Certificate History, the least I planned on doing was to pick an Irish peer-reviewed academic article, as the question was posing was very Irish indeed. In the first stages of my research thought it was crucial to my critique to prove History a universally important academic discipline. When I inputted ‘Why History should be taught in School’ online, the word ‘taught’ climbed to the top rank of my search & any articles I mound were more directly linked to general teaching practices than to History the subject.
However some of the articles’ bibliographies led me to American academic articles, revealing history is, in fact, a mandatory module of every students secondary studies in the U. S. Prophetically, the one article I found arguing for the scrapping of History as a subject, wanted to see the Junior Certificate-type soft skills associated with curricular History, diffused to other Secondary school subjects in recompense because he considered them so important (Schumann, 1980).
From this broad search online I was pleased to earn that History is held in high esteem among education managers, and more importantly among students, on both sides of the Atlantic (Thornton, 1990, p. 54). This was the genesis of my robust defense of Junior Certificate History in my critique. From these more topic relevant articles and their bibliographies I found a plethora of scholarly & popular international papers on the theme of History in schools (Dillon, 2011), including Heyday’s ‘Nation’ article – but I was still struggling to find any academic papers, on the topic, from Ireland!
Instead I turned to the very mainstream ‘Council for Curriculum ND Assessment’s’ website. To my surprise I discovered History was to be re- designated one of 24 prescribed Statements of Learning, meaning all students were to be minimally exposed to some measure Of “local, national and international heritage” (NCAA, 2008) in their 3 years of Junior Certificate study. Many academics in the Irish media had been mistakenly lamenting History’s downgrading from a universal to an elective subject (O’Connor, 201 3) – because of a lack of proper research.