Whose History Matters?
Some people feel rootless in time. They lack a full historical context and often cause harm to themselves and others. The study of history teaches compassion and empathy.
It also teaches that the present can never be extricated from what’s come before. Those lessons make studying history inescapable. And that is why it matters.
What is History?
When people ask if history matters, historians often get the instant put-down that history is “bunk.” While not exactly what Henry Ford said, this sweeping judgment suggests that history is a waste of time.
The study of history is the systematic, research-based documentation and interpretation of past human events. Historians examine a range of sources to understand why and how things happened.
Whether it’s the romance of the Renaissance, the heroism of World War II or the courage of a Civil Rights protester, history tells a fascinating story. It’s also a terrain for moral contemplation. Students can test their own moral sense against the complexities that real people have faced in difficult settings, and learn from the experience of certifiable heroes who demonstrate how to work through a moral dilemma.
As the discipline that studies past events, history helps us to make sense of our present. It is the basis for a society’s understanding of itself. Without it, we are at a disadvantage.
Why Study History?
Many people think of history as a subject that requires memorization and factual recall. While that was important in the past, now it is more valuable to understand why things happened and how they relate to each other.
History helps us cultivate our identity and understand the roots of our societies. It also teaches us how to analyze our surroundings and make more informed decisions. In the long run, this knowledge will help us avoid repeating past mistakes.
Furthermore, studying history can help kids develop a stronger critical thinking skillset, making them better prepared for other academic subjects. Historians often look at events and actions from different perspectives, which helps them see multiple sides of a story. This way, they can find the truth and avoid bias. Historians also help children build a strong sense of empathy and appreciate how others lived their lives. In doing so, they can be inspired and energized to do great things in the future.
How to Study History
Studying history doesn’t have to be boring and it is not impossible to get an A grade in the subject if you follow the right studying strategies. The key is to make your studying sessions as efficient and effective as possible, which will help you in the long run when it comes to exam time.
When studying for a history test, it’s important to take comprehensive notes and to study consistently. This will ensure that you are familiar with the most important details that will appear on your test, and that you can recall them on the day of the exam.
It is also crucial to remember that learning history is not just about memorizing dates and names, but about understanding the relationships between events. By recognizing these connections, you can answer the why and how questions about historical events, and understand their impact on future developments.