Our narrow history curriculum has contributed to xenophobia: Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Ian Richardson, Railway Street, Beverley.

How should British history be taught in schools?

I feel I must challenge every aspect of the views expressed by Dick Lindley (The Yorkshire Post, September 24) on history teaching.

I have been privileged to teach the subject for almost four decades to thousands of youngsters, and more recently to adults.

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It has never been the proper role of history to teach a blind devotion to the actions of any nation – great or otherwise. What we seek, albeit an elusive goal, is truth and understanding of the human past.

Winston Churchill's statue in London - how should British history be taught in schools?

Already, the nation-focused narrative that Mr Lindley espouses is far too prevalent in the school curriculum. I would suggest a lack of international breadth is one reason for the xenophobia and Euroscepticism we have been cursed with.

Understanding the past of one’s own country is important, but not a slavish acceptance that all its actions were great, or even proper.

Perhaps we do have things to be proud of in the UK’s past, but to him I would suggest this does not excuse colonialism, slavery, nor the exploitation of our own people during the industrial revolution.

We need to focus far more on the values of universal tolerance and respect for all peoples, of whatever country or race.

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Thank you

James Mitchinson