On Twitter, Ben Newmark (@bennewmark, as I’m sure anyone reading this knows) just asked:
Is imagining yourself as a person in the past a useful aim of history lessons in schools?
I wanted to reply, but I had too much to say. Here’s what I think.
Obviously the whole genre of ‘imagine you’re Anne Frank / a soldier of the Great War / a mediaeval peasant’ questions has given rise to some dismal history lessons, and I’m completely on Team This Is A Waste Of Time At Best, And Actively Damaging At Worst.
But I do think the exercise can be valuable.
I’ll give you a couple of examples.
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