Teaching history in schools

 

Sir, – The Department of History at NUI Galway welcomes the decision by Minister for Education Joe McHugh to review the removal of history as a compulsory subject from the Junior Certificate curriculum.

At a time of heightened public interest in history and the proliferation of a wide array of online sources as a result of digitisation, the historian’s craft serves as great a public good as it ever did, sifting through a mass of information to discern patterns in the past, applying the rules of evidence and critical enquiry.

The skills imparted to history students, in school years and beyond, are critical the understanding of our world and in arousing intellectual curiosity.

These positive arguments for history have been echoed in recent times by academics, unions and a variety of public figures.

We, as a department, add our voice to theirs and consider that, surely, in the world today, the wider the knowledge of the past the better. – Yours, etc,

Prof ENRICO DAL LAGO,

Head of Department,

Department of History,

National University

of Ireland Galway.