Ancient Rome or the Battle of Hastings? The Tudor monarchs or the trenches of WWI? Opinions on exactly what children should be taught are myriad and often generate controversy.
In a new book - The Right Kind of History - the historian Sir David Cannadine argues that the subject should be compulsory until 16, to help broaden knowledge. The book is the result of a two-year research project that explored history teaching in state schools in England since the early 1900s.
Music courtesy KPM Music. Professor Sir David Cannadine interview spoke to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Other interviews by Dr Jenny Keating and Dr Nicola Sheldon from the History in Education Project.
Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 22 November 2011.