Be not afeared: criticality and the teaching of history

Clio et cetera

I suspect most readers will have seen the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. One of the early parts of the performance involved our green and pleasant land being converted into the industrial landscape of modern Britain. For those who did not see it, you can play it here:

Anything that sparks a discussion about history is, for me, a good thing. So what would the conversations be like in the pubs, coffee shops and canteens across the country? What would I want the children I had taught to be saying as they discussed the performance over their dinners? I would want people to be able to watch this and to appreciate it for what it is, a rather romanticised vision of the British past. I would want them, too, to be able to criticise the performance on historical grounds.

What does one need to know in order to critique this…

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