I think you both have good points but are failing to take into account the education levels and differences.
For a start despite our national curriculum different schools and different areas end up with very different lessons and periods weighted in classrooms differently.
Secondly the education level matters a great deal, what you are talking about is a GCSE to A-Level approach to history. Before that you dont do anything like what youre describing, youre told about events, given a worksheet to fill out and go on your merry way. There the other person is very much correct, teach a wider viewpoint. History lessons have very narrow views and yes they may try to explain why the world is the way it is but I dont think they achieve that in the slightest. Also the exploitation of other nations is 100% key to understanding our world.
What you talk about in learning how to write an essay, that was english for me. History never even touched on it. So again the differences in how education is applied makes a massive difference. I dont think its helpful to do that in history either, continue to lay out facts in history lessons and let english pick up the writing skills.