History should no longer involve the robotic learning of facts and propaganda, the crucial 21st century skills of critical analysis and evaluation of information have made it far too important for that.
Yet studies of children’s information-seeking skills show that little has changed since the before the internet. Study after study has shown that children do not possess basic skills in finding, evaluating and using information whatever its source. For instance a study in 1991 demonstrated this by analysing high-school pupils’ interactions with historical evidence. Not only did they rate information as either biased or not biased, but they couldn’t identify sources as a means of assessing the nature of the information and then failed to make meaningful use of it. Further studies since then have shown that little has changed in this area despite the spread of the internet.