The Prince of Wales announced yesterday he is setting up a new scheme for training English and history teachers to stop children being robbed of their cultural inheritance.
Many pupils are no longer encouraged to read whole books or understand history properly as teachers believe they should ignore the methods of the past, he said.
The Prince's Cambridge Programme for Teaching will seek to "reinspire" state school teachers through training sessions, seminars and residential courses.
The scheme, based at Cambridge University, builds on the Prince of Wales' annual Education Summer School, now in its fifth year. Speaking at the 2006 summer school at Robinson College, Cambridge, Charles said: "We need to preserve and nurture the precious threads that up to now have always linked the generations."
He said a "cultural shift" had taken place with the result that "so much of what had come before was dismissed and devalued".
"The impact of all this on education has been profound and it is one from which we are still trying to recover.
"For all sorts of well-meaning reasons, and for too many pupils, teaching has omitted to pass on to the next generation not only our deep knowledge of literature and history, but also the value of education."
Speaking to an audience of 30 primary and 80 secondary school English and history teachers, the Prince said there was an "urgent" need to help them rediscover their enthusiasm for their subjects.
He said: "There is a need to reinspire teachers, to question the notion that equality and accessibility are best served by reducing the range and quality of work that pupils undertake and, as I believe is required of so many other aspects of 21st Century western lifestyles and practices, to put a stop to what might be termed the 'cultural disinheritance' that has gone on for too long."
Teachers too often felt obliged "to teach a 'reduced' subject, in terms both of quality and quantity", he said.
But those who have attended Charles's summer schools have been encouraged to go back to their schools and teach children "historical backgrounds to the texts they were studying" as well as "more difficult authors - Chaucer, Blake, Donne" and "reading whole texts".
The prince's new programme, to be backed by £50,000 from the Govern-ment's Training and Development Agency for schools and an anonymous private donation, will be run in partnership with Cambridge University.
The intention will be for the scheme to remain independent of Government-designed teacher training.
Lord Wilson, the Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and former Cabinet Secretary, will head both the training programme and a new Prince of Wales teaching charity which will run the scheme.
Lord Wilson said there was a "gap" in the market for mid-career teacher training.
"It is something that teachers themselves want," he said.
"There is a great deal more to education than just passing exams."
Education Secretary Alan Johnson welcomed the announcement and praised the boost the prince's summer schools had given teachers.