Forget history and you are doomed to repeat it is a saying for myopic minds. I’m not disputing the veracity of the statement. I am taking issue with the narrowness of how so many people have interpreted it.
For elementary and secondary students, you often hear the lament, “What do I care about past World Wars. There are more catastrophic calamities in our modern world?” I oft-times wonder if they mean a computer malfunction, smeared make-up, or having to do homework.
For college and university students, you hear that the study of history can’t be monetized. It’s not going to get me a high paying job. Generally, many folks say that history is ancient and of scant value. Just like Jackie De Shannon hit song, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” if you want to take your learning to a better place, ground your content within an historical framework.
History, and the teaching of it, is essential to civilized society. I refer to history as all accumulated knowledge, and teaching as a professional trademark for those individuals who, through dedicated study and practice, inspire students to acquire relevant, complex knowledge and critical thinking skills that sustain individual development and society’s growth.
Whatever your subject area, knowing the history – even condensed – behind its principles and core competencies provides a broader based understanding. For example, you will gain a superior capacity to comprehend real estate curricula if you possess an historical appreciation on our legal, financial, and social systems.
Talented teachers, not just computer programs, are invaluable, vital impetus to this life-long learning adventure. Learning is a cooperative venture and effective, purposeful teachers are central to this process.
Great teachers connect with students immediately through activities and demonstrate the historical importance of the concepts at hand, creating thoughtful, relevant challenges for students to consider critically. They foster participation and enthusiasm among students by grounding the learning in an historical context.
Questionable teachers slip-slide out of their authoritative leadership role through superficial coverage of key learning. They focus on personal, rather than intellectual, rapport with students that borders on professional misconduct.
To help students succeed, it is imperative that everyone is treated with friendliness and equality. No one does this more professionally than the committed facilitator who add a little bit of history in their lessons.