Florence Nightingale – KQ6 – Should Florence Nightingale rather than Mary Seacole have her statue at St.Thomas’ hospital?

NB This lesson overlaps, as you would expect, with a similar lesson on Mary Seacole. It is slightly different in emphasis but if you are studying both women in equal depth you need to use Key question 6 from just one. If you are studying just Florence Nightingale and not Mary Seacole, then you will clearly need to modify the lesson significantly.

This lesson places pupils in the Mantle of the Expert. A new monument to Mary Seacole was erected outside St Thomas’ Hospital in 2016. But there have been complaints. Surely it was Florence who was associated with St Thomas’ hospital, not Mary? Doesn’t Florence deserve a statue in that place more? So, should the statue be replaced? The pupils are drafted in as historical advisers to help the planners decide. Perhaps the pupils will opt for both women being commemorated, side by side?

Learning objectives

  • Pupils can give 3 reasons why Mary Seacole deserves a statue in a prominent place after all this time
  • They can give 3 reasons why Florence deserves recognition of this kind in a hospital so closely associated with her.
  • They can think of at least one reason why it might be thought unfair
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