Stephens, David: ADFA presentation on teaching children about war

David Stephens

Top down, bottom up, or bit by bit? Teaching children about war: paper to ADFA Summer School, 21 January 2015‘, Honest History, 21 January 2015

These are notes of a presentation to the UNSW Canberra ADFA Summer School for Secondary History Teachers. They comprise speaking notes and copies of Powerpoint slides addressing three key questions:

1.Has there been a ‘top-down’ attempt to indoctrinate children about war?

2.If (a) children are curious and yearn for heroes and (b) teachers need teaching materials, are these dual needs being inappropriately exploited?

3.When do you start to teach children about war and how do you do it?

‘Teach’ is interpreted broadly to include what happens in the classroom, the schoolyard, on excursions to places like the Australian War Memorial, in families or in peer-groups. How children learn about war would work just as well.

The presentation.

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