Why Study the Medieval Past?
Janet L. Nelson argues that the study of medieval history in British schools is just what the twenty-first century requires.
At a Historical Association conference in September 2002, I heard of an interesting report: until recently there were only two countries in Europe, the UK and Albania, where history was not part of the national curriculum up to age eighteen. Now, it was said, there is only one – and it is not Albania. As a responsible historian, I have to tell you that the report turned out to be exaggerated, indeed strictly speaking untrue: whereas France, Germany and others do indeed require the teaching of history throughout the secondary education phase, a number of northern European countries do not (and have not for many years).