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What sort of history should be taught?

Some of the country's leading historians wrote to the Times this week to support the education secretary Michael Gove's changes to the history curriculum in England. Gove suggests that topics should be taught in chronological order with a narrative of British progress and an emphasis on heroes and heroines.

Journalist and author David Aaronovitch told the Today programme that history lessons should not be used "for propagandistic purposes" and that it's not the role of history "to cement national identities."

Historian Anthony Beevor, one of those who signed the letter, said that the reforms sound like "a very important steps in the right direction" adding that students need "a useful way of identifying different periods.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday 2 March 2013.

  • 02 Mar 2013