Leading article: Past masters

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The Independent Online

This week's call by historians for pupils to be given more of a chronological understanding of their past should be heeded. Topic work on its own fails to give pupils an adequate understanding of why events took place. The popular topic of the Second World War is a case in point. You need to understand what happened in the run-up to the declaration of hostilities to make sense of what then happened. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the body responsible for the national curriculum, should listen to the concerns of the Institute of Historical Research in their review of the secondary curriculum.