MP warns that if schools do not teach medieval history, our past “huge chunks” will be lost.


The Conservative MP urged children to teach medieval or early English history at school, saying they knew more about Martin Luther King Jr. than about the first king of Britain.

Talk to TelegraphRosa Valley MP Alexander Stafford said the subject was “mostly ignored at school and rarely taught at the GCSE or A level”, and most students “have the option to study something before 1066.” No. “

However, one historian wrote in the Epoch Times that the reason why subjects are not taught is complicated, but ideologically, the past goes back “a little dangerous for those who prefer to change the world on the basis of almost a year.” Said. -Zero myth. “


Early medieval England was 410-1066, but the medieval period is between 1066 and 1485.

“This is a situation where students are much more likely to learn about someone like Martin Luther King than Alfred the Great,” says Stafford.

“Our history is much more. Our country is quite old and has a lot of formative history. We need to discuss and discuss it,” added the MP who studied this subject. Warned about a “self-fulfilling cycle” among children who could not be taught medieval history and later pursued it in higher education.

At the present time GCSE specifications It is necessary to include the history of three eras: medieval (500-1500), early modern (1450-1750), and modern (1700-present).

“I don’t think most students have heard of Azerstan, the first king of England,” said Stafford, “I believe it is important to gain medieval history from the collapse of the Roman Empire. It’s really in the limelight in the west, from 476 to 1492, until the discovery of the New World. “

“There is no easy answer as to why medieval history is so ignored,” Nicholas Joseph, a lecturer in education at the University of Derby, told The Epoch Times.

“To teach medieval things at a fairly high level, you need to know a lot about it. If not, how do you get started? It’s better to eliminate competencies than to rebuild them. Is much easier, “says Joseph, who has a PhD in medieval history and lectured on this subject.

Epoch Times Photo
People will see the “Baillex Tapestry” or “Queen Matilde Tapestry” related to the conquest of Britain by William the Conqueror in 1066 in Bayeux, western France on September 13, 2019. (LoicVenance / AFP via Getty Images)

Moral lessons

“It will always be plagued by the” relevance “R-word. If you need to demonstrate relevance, it’s always easier to use the modern one than the medieval one, “he said.

Joseph is part of the Academics for Academic Freedom, a campaign group for instructors, academic staff, students, and researchers who want to “protect undisturbed inquiry and expression.”

Stafford does not claim that medieval history is involved in the crosshairs of cultural warfare, but the lesson of overall history is. As part of the Government’s new strategy for inclusive racism in the UK, the Ministry of Education has created some specific over the next two years designed to create a more “inclusive history curriculum.” I was told to commit to action.

During April Telegraph Scholars who support decolonization have been consulted about Britain’s new historical curriculum and reported that it is causing ideological fears at school.

Guessing whether identity politics could interfere with the teachings of medieval history, Joseph said, “There is nothing in medieval history that escapes being abused to cross the political agenda.” Stated.

“Teachers already have a recent history course in the filing cabinet and have a desirable moral lesson. So why make an effort to develop a medieval history course to teach the same moral lesson? Is it? “Joseph said.


He said that the past, which goes back beyond the 20th century, “has a living importance in our patterns of thinking.” Perhaps it’s a bit dangerous for those who like to change the world based on the myth of almost zero years. “

“The longer the past, the more difficult the challenge of creating the future,” he said.

“Good history has been written even by bad people,” he said.

“A commitment to the basic rules of historical discipline, the pursuit of truth through the involvement of sources, has made it possible to write a good history in the terms of political tyranny, but if you omit it, you If you decide that it’s too clever for it, or if it’s theoretically naive, you’re going to be propaganda. “

“Devaluating or underestimating the basic rules of discipline is all about advertising. In fact, it prevents you from writing anything other than advertising,” Joseph added.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist who covers stories from a wide range of countries with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.