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Panel calls for more emphasis on Welsh history

01/05/2013 Joanna
Individuals in teacher jobs in Wales should be required to teach their pupils more about the history of Wales, a group of experts has advocated.

Back in October, Wales' education minister Leighton Jones commissioned a panel of 13 experts in heritage, local and national history, as well as black and ethnic minority history, to examine the place of Welsh history within the curriculum.

This group, chaired by Dr Elin Jones, the Welsh government's humanities advisor, has reported that a stronger focus on Wales' culture and heritage is indeed required in Welsh schools.

It asserted too often an "Anglo-centric British" history was the only form being taught and that Welsh history should not be treated as something to be attached to that of England, Wales Online has reported.

The panel argued that countries' history curriculums usually focus on their own national origins, something that was highlighted in a review of how history was taught in other countries such as Greece, Turkey and the US.

Moreover, the experts advocated that Welsh history be integrated into GCSE history specifications and that there should also be a compulsory history element in the Welsh baccalaureate.

The report asserted: "The panel's experience suggests that many learners in Wales learn far more about the history of England than that of their own area and country.

"The task group also believe that not enough attention is paid to the other countries of Britain, and that there is also a tendency to concentrate on a narrow range of topics in the history of Europe and the world."

It warned that there were obstacles to this, with many teachers having not been themselves educated in the history of Wales, while a shortage of teaching resources has also traditionally been a problem.

Nonetheless, the panel was heartened by recent evidence of public interest in Welsh history, suggesting that "innovative and attractive materials" relating to this field could have a positive impact upon education.

Furthermore, it stressed that the Wales-specific 'Cwricwlwm Cymreig' should not be solely history-focused, but that other subjects should also include Welsh elements so pupils can learn more about the country's present, as well as its past.

Posted by Charlotte MichaelsADNFCR-2164-ID-801579895-ADNFCR
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