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What did you learn about in history?

(80 Posts)
AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 12:43:03

I got really annoyed last night because I learnt barely a thing about history in secondary school. I spent a good year on the Tudors, all of year 9 on the slave trade. All of that is very important obviously but did it need to span so much learning time. We didn't learn anything about post WW2 Britain, nothing about the Cold War, Vietnam, Thatchers time when surely these areas should have been focused on. Mainly wondering whether other people in my age group had such a lack of education about more recent history or whether it was the comp I went to.
This is such a poorly written OP, I realise, my minds gone to shit at the moment and I can't get my words in order, please don't flame me grin.

Angelto5 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:51:52

I remember doing the Arab:Israeli conflict but don't remember much. Also did medicine through time & native Americans. Also about the industrial revolution (local history). You don't say your age but I left high school in 1997 & live in West Midlands.

BookABooSue Wed 30-Jul-14 12:52:05

Across primary and high school, I learnt about the First World War; the Second World War; Wiemar Germany; the Industrial Revolution; suffragettes; German resistance to Hitler; Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I.

I may be older than you but the Cold War and post WW2 Britain weren't in History but in Modern Studies classes (they were in the past at that point but still covered in Modern Studies). Modern Studies also covered American politics; segregation, etc.

I loved history and studied it for 6 years at high school, so I probably learnt a bit more than my friends iyswim.

TheWanderingUterus Wed 30-Jul-14 12:54:15

We did Romans, Tudors, Normans and WW1/WW2.

GCSE was :

-medicine through time, looking at the development of antibiotics, anaesthetics, aseptics and anaesthesia.
-women in communist China
-the development of a building over time. We looked at Penshurst Place, it's original design and all the bits that were added to it in each century.

A-Level was People Power and Politics.

- a long chronological look at how government developed from 1066 to the present day.
-an examination of popular protest over the same time period, the peasants revolt, civil war, Peterloo, Moseley's Blackshirts. All the riots and marches and rebellions.
-an indepth study of the English civil war, why it happened, what happened etc. We looked at the long term reasons and the triggers.

Loved it all.

BookABooSue Wed 30-Jul-14 12:59:35

Oops I forgot - we also did the Russian Revolution. I've always wanted to visit Russia <looks wistfully at history books>

VampireSquid Wed 30-Jul-14 13:00:31

Across primary/sec:
Slave trade and abolition in the UK
Slave trade, abolition, segregation and civil rights movement in US
Henry VIII and Protestantism in Europe and England
Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and religion
The Norman invasion, Domesday book, feudal system
The end of the feudal system in England
Black Death- spread, effects short and long term, types
Industrial Revolution in the UK
British Empire- and the industrial revolution in it
Causes of WW1/lead up to WW1
Suffragettes and women in the early 20th century
Rise of dictators and fascism across Europe
UN and EU formation

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:05:34

I'm 22 so didn't leave school that long ago. I'm thinking it was maybe just my school. We didn't have modern studies, what I wrote was essentially all I was taught from what I remember, I didn't piss about in school so it wasn't that I wasn't taking notice. We didn't learn a thing about communist china or Germany after WW2. I didn't take it as a GCSE option, I'd just spent the months running up to taking my choices watching all of roots. It wasn't an exciting opportunity for learning after that.
I've started a thread and can't even communicate properly arg! Major case of brain fog.

Vitalstatistix Wed 30-Jul-14 13:05:37

I don't remember anything.

or geography

very little maths

science - nadda

french - I can just about say hello and what my name is

I was there. My attendance wasn't too bad grin and there were no complaints about my work and I was fairly bright.

It's just that it's now about 25 years since I finished school and I haven't used most of what I was taught since the day I left because I didn't go into jobs where I needed it so it's long gone to make way for actually useful (to me) life things.

I really have no need at all to know off the top of my head what king died when or what battle was fought where. And if I find myself in some sort of life or death situation where only knowing the names of the wives of henry the 8th will save me, I can always take out my phone and google grin

llwynogbach Wed 30-Jul-14 13:06:10

WW2 at gcse, and then Hitler's Germany for A levels. Essentially 1939-45 ad nauseam.

wintersdawn Wed 30-Jul-14 13:07:50

Our school didn't cover the wars unless you took it as a gcse.

doublediscount Wed 30-Jul-14 13:09:12

I have huge gaps in my history knowledge. I went to an all girls' school, very multicultural, in a deprived area and they wanted us to learn about things that were relevant to our peer group. This was in the 1990s. So lots of: Slavery, WWII, Victorian era, the Suffragettes, Industrial Revolution, Workhouses. I don't really remember learning much history in primary school (maybe the Romans, and a bit of the Tudors) and didn't take it for GCSE, so only did 3 years of it at secondary.

There's lots of things that I never covered in any formal education - English Civil War, WWI, American history, Cold War, Vietnam, Communism. I know that when I went to university, other students (from posher schools) did seem to have more grounding in history than I'd had, even when they'd not done GCSE History either. As an adult, I've sometimes browsed Wikipedia and other websites and read books about specific periods that I'm interested in. No reason to expect all your knowledge of history to come from school.

All I remember about history is our teacher used to sit on the front table issuing forth, always swinging her legs. She used to wear the most vile mens robust leather sandals and we swore she never washed her feet, her toenails were ingrained with black grime. We were all traumatised and never learnt a thing.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Wed 30-Jul-14 13:10:56

Primary;kings n queens. Australian history. Can't remember what we did before 6th form, then French Revolution, Weimar Germany.

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:12:07

Vital, I can remember what I learnt about but none of the details because it has no bearing of life now.
I just think if some of the time had been spent on more recent issues I'd have retained all of that information and would have been so much more knowledgable about current affairs.

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:14:18

I don't expect all my knowledge to have came from school, I'm self taught on most things now. Just quite pissed off that so much time seemed to be misspent.

throckenholt Wed 30-Jul-14 13:16:31

post WW2 Britain, nothing about the Cold War, Vietnam, Thatchers time

um - much of that wasn't history when I was at school ! Or at least only very recent history.

O Level - we did Europe 1815-1914 - just after the Napoleonic War to just before the first World war (the 2 major events that would have been interesting !). It was all about the balance of power between the European powers, dates and prime ministers. Interesting - but not when you are 14-16 !

Personally most of the history I know (and I know a lot over a broad range of time) I have gleaned from reading both fiction and non fiction. I love history - but I am not sure that the way it is taught does much to encourage many people to be interested.

For me history is fundamental in understanding why things are the way they are today. If more people were aware of the past then maybe we wouldn't keep making the same mistakes so often.

LoblollyBoy Wed 30-Jul-14 13:17:39

Me too llwynog - and WW2 was a topic at both my primary school ad my previous senior school. Groan.

Touched also on - early 19th Century British History; The Renaissance (which I've just had to spell check) and whatever period Ferdinand and Isabella were, should that be different.

I came out with no grasp whatsoever of history. I now divide it mentally into two time periods "Before the time of Jack Aubrey" and "After the time of Jack Aubrey". (He is the protagonist in the Master and Commander novels about the British Navy at the turn of the 19th century.) Quite frankly, this is an improvement.

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:20:40

Throcken, history is important, I could have told you about Henry VIII wives when I was in school but nothing of any sort of worth I feel. I had no chronological understanding of things, no knowledge of the biggest things that have made our world the world it is today.

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:21:44

I meant that as in 'I also think history is important' it reads like I'm trying to tell you that fact blush.

annabanana19 Wed 30-Jul-14 13:25:15

nothing much as I found it rather boring - and the teacher was broing.

But now I find I have learnt much more of what interests me from TV. I find the 2 world wars fascinating and my own family history by making family trees. I've just been round a cemetery this morning with DC2 and we found her great great great grandparents (on DH's side) grave and took a photo of her standing by. She's 10 loves to know about her family.

runningonwillpower Wed 30-Jul-14 13:27:16

I have huge gaps in my history knowledge.

Most of us do. Because history, by its nature, is vast.

No curriculum can address all of history or cherry pick events that may or may not interest us in adult life.

School lessons can only give us a limited insight into our past and hopefully spark an interest.

OP, there's nothing to stop you getting down to the library if you are that interested. Learning needn't and shouldn't stop with school.

Meglet Wed 30-Jul-14 13:37:12

Bodies in the bog and how to make spears hmm.

I learnt more from Blackadder than I did at school.

AudacityOfHuge Wed 30-Jul-14 13:39:44

Running, I've carried on educating myself since school. I was just looking back on what I actually learnt then, and realised how little that was.

At primary school I remember doing the Victorians, the Egyptians, the Romans and WW2. I remember when Thatcher stopped being PM so I would have felt funny doing that as 'history'! grin

At secondary school we did a whistle-stop chronological syllabus from 1066 to WW2, but honestly, I can remember very little of it that I didn't study again later, so I think it wasn't a great approach really. Also very old-fashioned way of teaching, with lots of kings and so on.

GCSE - WW bloody 2. Again. We had it coming out of our ears, honestly. Plus bits on America in the depression and the early bits of the Cold War.

A Level - we did the Tudors, which was brilliant, and finally got to do some non-British (for which, read English because we barely touched on Scotland or Wales!) history by looking at Philip of Spain and Martin Luther.

I really wish we'd done the medicine stuff. I think that sounds brilliant. Ours was so, so narrow geographically. It was just all white men. And I went to an all-girls school. confused

runningonwillpower Wed 30-Jul-14 13:57:11

Audacity - if school gave you enough interest to carry on on your own, isn't that a job well done?

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