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A canon of Dutch history

The Dutch government wants to reform the treatment of Dutch history in primary education, and installed a special committee to create a canon of Dutch history. Yesterday the committee presented the finished canon: A list of 50 events and people that represent Dutch history. The list contains all the expected topics, like Erasmus, William of Orange, VOC (Dutch East India Company), and Rembrandt, but also the dark side of Dutch history, like the slave trade or the independence war of the Dutch Indies.

Though the canon is intended mainly for primary (and to a lesser extent secondary) education, it is required reading for anyone interested in his Dutch heritage.

entoen.nu | The Committee: "The report of the Committee can be summarized as follows:
A canon for all Dutch people
as a story of the country we all live in
the Netherlands not as a horizon, but as an observation post
not as a vehicle for national pride, but rather a canon that evokes involvement
not a mausoleum, but a living heritage
a canon that is open rather than closed
no lists, but windows
modern technology not as a threat, but as an ally
familiarisation with the canon as natural baggage
not a final goal, but an inspiring foundation, to be laid in primary education
to be installed first, in order to be able to put into perspective later
not a new school subject, not a complete curriculum, not a new textbook
chart - chest - website
mastery is proven only in limitation
choices, but no straitjacket
with substantial attention for the teachers 'who must bring alive', and how they are trained
give the subject back to the teacher - and give the teacher back to the subject
not static, but dynamic
not a lecture, but a discussion
with invitations to the cultural world, market and society
the canon as a cultural capital with invaluable yields
daring to invest in general education and immaterial infrastructures
a fund for the future
the canon not as a problem, but as an opportunity"

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