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Critically assess the relationship between national identity and schooling in the period 1870-1939?

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Introduction

Critically assess the relationship between national identity and schooling in the period 1870-1939? The relationship between national identity and schooling is one that has been seen as both a problem, where by the integrating of the concept of national identity into schooling is seen as the "poison" that generates "cross-national conflict" (1) and a defensive reaction to preventing and dealing with the problems that Britain faced during that epoch, where the political and social environment in Europe "provided a sort of hothouse atmosphere for nationalistic writings of the most fervent kind"(2) "Dr Tate outlined in brief that 'national identities depended on stories 'and that teachers need to provide children 'with a sense of belonging to a community which stretches back into the past and forward into the future ' in order to five them ' a sense of meaning'" (3) The idea of creating a sense of belonging for children, is one that is shared worldwide, humans I have been told, need narratives, however the use of 'national identities' here is used in a positive and discreet in content manner. I wonder what concepts does Dr Tate associate with national identities, and what aspects of the past and future should children be informed about? To answer the question given I will look deeply into, the relationship between national identity and schooling, ways of introducing national identity in schooling, threat abroad and at home, the effects, the problems and questions raised by the idea of national identity in schooling. I will begin by introducing some of the important Legislations and Codes introduced by the government as these reflect the concern of the day, and play an important role in schooling, and national identity. ...read more.

Middle

What is the importance of empire day, and how it is that one day can have an enormous impact to the relationship between national identity and schooling? This is explained by "where careful preparation" was vitally implemented to the commemoration of Empire Day 'it formed a lesson of lasting educational influence" (?) (Get from (There's no place like home, Education of History 28, pg 236, quote number 2) There are many questions and queries that the celebration of empire day arises to historians today, due to the lack of primary sources, the effect of Empire Day on, children, teachers and parents are limited. The use of images in i.e. 'race -thinking' are extremely profound as they symbolize how children were taught to think about different races, "a black persons teeth are usually white, so are the whites in his eyes" (4), the fact that this is an extract taken from 1939 by a twelve year old boy shows that even at this stage in time, children were still unaware or ignorant and uneducated about different races, different races were alien to them. This however may not be the case for all children; it may just be to a particular school or even child. The two extracts displayed in There's no place like home, Education of History 28, pg 237 are extracts taken from children in 1939 and were part of a 'school survey collected by Mass-Observation for an anti-Semitic project. Mass-observation believed that childhood was a critical stage in the formation of attitudes toward minority groups (4). ...read more.

Conclusion

Education has been romanticized as a heroic force with the ability of "saving the world, in the cyclically repeated expectation that this can realistically be achieved by educational means" (1) However The relationship between national identity and schooling, and the critical way in which it has been used quite clearly as a weapon for and nationalism to such an extent as racism during that epoch, has encouraged me to believe that the studying of national identity in a bias manner in schools can easily become dangerous and provocative. Reference: 1. (W.E.Marsden, Nationalism, propaganda and war and peace, pg29-47) 2. (P.M.Kennedy, 'The decline of nationalistic history in the west, 1900-1970', Journal of Contemporary History, 8 (1973)88.) 3. (History today, History and national identity in the classroom, pg 6) 4. (There's no place like home, Education of History 28, pg 236-237) 5. (1 Mass Observation Archive FR878) 6. (J.Bourke, Working-Class Cultures in Britain, 1890-1960. Gender, Class and Ethnicity (London: Routledge, 1994), 186) 7. (A.D.Smith, National Identity, London, 1991, p.9-11) 8. (J.M.Mackenzie, Propaganda and Empire. The manipulation of British Public Opinion, 1880-1960 Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984), 176.see k. Castle, Britannia's children. Reading Colonialism through Children's Books (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1990) 9. (T.Hearl, 'Military education and the schools curriculum 1880-1870, History of Education, 5 (1976 ), 261) 10. (Anon., 'The war from the school-room window', Supplement to The Times (14 January 1916), 2.) 11. There's no place like home, Education of History 28, pg 246, extract 54) 12. ( F.L. Hagendoorn and H.Linssen, 'National characteristics and national stereotypes: A seven-nation comparative study ', in Nationalism, Ethnicity and Identity : Cross National and Comparative Perspectives, edited by R.Farnen (New Brunswick , 1994), 103-26) 13. (Paul Goalen, History Today,47, (June 1997).p.6) ...read more.

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