Genealogy is a subject that can be transformative. It has the ability to shift our thinking. The factual or fictional accounts of an event or series of events gathered when creating a genealogy project have the ability to inspire us, awaken our potential and shape the way we live our lives. The outcomes can crystallise and set the seed to a deep lasting change – whether for a single person or an entire organization.
It makes no difference whether you are a professional teacher or a professional genealogist; we are always looking at ways to continually improve our professional standing. We need to look at the building blocks of genealogy in the key areas of the education curriculum here in the United Kingdom. There are many aspects of genealogy or family history research that encroaches on many of the key subject areas of the school’s curriculum in all of the key stages 1-4.
Bernstein’s theorising therefore emerged at a time when the school curriculum had been polemicized in a basic way by the reorganisation of schools into a comprehensive secondary system. In today’s society there are many children that know little about their ancestors / family history. It is with the greatest of conviction and belief that if we as the educators of the children of tomorrow give them the opportunity to connect with their family history or heritage can they then themselves begin to evaluate and understand that there is a place for genealogy in education.
By looking at and contrasting the patterns and outcomes of the curriculum today can we see the ways that genealogy crosses the many subjects of modern schooling? Genealogy can bring to the classroom that missing element that many teachers are now striving for. We need to give encouragement and imagination to the students; we also need to give them a way of being able to remember what they have been taught. By introducing Genealogy / Family History into the school’s curriculum, we will cover the main subject areas currently being taught in the classroom today.
“Education both influences and reflects the values of our society, and the kind of society we want to be. It is therefore important to recognise a set of common aims, values and purposes that underpin the school curriculum and the work of schools.” (Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency 2009)
The aim of Genealogy is to promote high standards, particularly in literacy, numeracy, Geography, History, Science and ICT capability. By comparing key aspects of the subjects in key stages 1 – 2 and key stages 3 – 4, it will show that there are a number of key concepts that support the basic fundamentals of the key stage 3 – 4 subjects and the basics in key stages 1 – 2. Pupils need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.