ABSTRACT

A N important and largely new development in the teaching of history in schools in recent years has been the demand that history syllabuses should include the contemporary period. This has been expressed not only in syllabuses for non-examination forms, but also in demands for an examination option in recent and contem­ porary history, both in the General Certificate of Education and in the new Certificate of Secondary Education. Such experience as there has been in the first of these examinations has been encouraging rather than the reverse. My purpose in this chapter is to ask whether the teaching of contemporary history presents special problems of its own, and, in order to answer this, I shall enquire how far con­ temporary history may properly be regarded as a form of history, in what respects it differs from ‘real’ history, and therefore in what ways it may be expected to present special problems to the teacher.