Sunday, February 03, 2008

Funeral Reith

Every year, around August, the newspapers continually run screechy articles about how A-levels, and indeed school curricula in general, are dumbing down and that the history curriculum has been reduced to a whistlestop "Nazis and Tudors" overview. I generally laughed this off as scaremongering, and then I did my usual tour of the blogosphere for reviews of last week's Torchwood. And was amazed by the number of reviews praising it as "educational" and "Reithian" simply for pointing out that shellshocked soldiers in 1918 often got shot for cowardice. I remember learning that at fourteen, in a Grade Nine history module, and again, in OAC North American History, and again, in OAC Social Studies (in the unit on psychology, which dealt with PTSD among other things). If people aren't learning about that sort of basic historical fact in school, then the scaremongers really do have a point.