Commonwealth History and Knowledge

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22 January 1959.

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Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell 12:00, 22 January 1959

asked the Minister of Education to what extent there has been an increase and improvement in the teaching of Commonwealth history and Commonwealth knowledge.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

My right hon. Friend does not receive any formal returns on this, but Her Majesty's Inspectors consider that interest in the Commonwealth is growing in the schools, and more teachers are taking advantage of the facilities available for improving the teaching of the subject.

Photo of Mr John Biggs-Davison Mr John Biggs-Davison , Chigwell

Is there not evidence of very great ignorance of the Commonwealth? Will every encouragement be given to the teaching of the Commonwealth an an integral part of the teaching of geography, history, economics and civics?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

It is not difficult to get some evidence of remarkable ignorance on almost any subject one can name. What is interesting is that, in 1957 and 1958, more teachers than ever before attended courses on the Commonwealth organised by Her Majesty's inspectors, I hope that that trend will continue.