Lessons and Memories for the 21st Century

Ref: C2341611

George Santayana wrote in 1905 "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Is this a true statement? Do 21st century politicians and economists forget the past and therefore allow the past to return in a different or similar guise? Using events like the Holocaust and/or the political and economic austerity of 1920's and 1930's Britain, this six-week course will consider whether lessons from the past have been learned or not remembered.

Course aim

This course provides an opportunity for course members to consider if politicians, economists and society in general learn from past historical events. Investigating past and recent events students will form their own judgement in relation to this.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explain what the Holocaust and the economic crisis in 1920's and 1930's Britain were
  • Discuss the attitudes and responses of those in power or who had power to the persecution of the Jews of Europe and tto the treatment of the unemployed and very poor in 1920's/1930's Britain
  • Read/interpret historical documents and images to gain an understanding of past and more recent events
  • Describe more recent historical events (such as the Rwandan Genocise) to determine if politicians and/or society repeat the "mistakes" of the past
  • Make a judgement on Santayana's statement that "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Participants will be encouraged to discuss their own ideas about past and more recent events within the lessons for the 21st century context

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

Lessons and Memories for the 21st Century

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing