5 reasons Why History Matters?
Why on earth does it matter what happened long ago?
The answer is that History is inescapable. It studies the past and the legacies of the past in the present. Far from being a ‘dead’ subject, it connects things through time and encourages its students to take a long view of such connections.
1. History repeats
Today we have a ‘smog’ issue in Beijing, China. This is the year 2016 when people need to buy ‘can of fresh unadulterated oxygen!‘
But did we learn lessons from the Great London Smog, way back in 1952.
That’s the power of History.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it
2. Your ‘date’ with the world
A popular misconception is that: History is mere dates
Facts and dates provide some of the basic building blocks of History as a field of study, but on their own they have limited meaning. Take a specific case. It would be impossible to comprehend 20th-century world history if given nothing but a list of key dates, supplemented by information about (say) population growth rates, economic resources and church attendance.
Charles Dickens long ago satirised the ‘facts and nothing but the facts’ school of thought. In his novel Hard Times, he invented the hard-nosed businessman, Thomas Gradgrind, who believes that knowledge is sub-divided into nuggets of information. Children should then be given ‘Facts’ and taught to avoid ‘Fancy’ – or any form of independent thought and imagination. (don’t be him!)
3. Two kind of people in the world
People who know
People who don’t care
Those who don’t know history are those who cannot improve the present!
4. Breaking news is NOT History
Which student are you?
I hated History class
I liked History class – as it was nap time
- Today’s Breaking News is all about:
World that happened in the last 5 minutes
The Head of State says something racist
Fashion diva gets divorced
Corruption in Rio Olympics
Yet many things we need to nourish, sustain and inspire us are a lot older than mere one day old.
5. Boldness, Imagination & Creativity – that’s History
Education is not ‘just’ concerned with teaching specific tasks but it entails forming and informing the whole person, for and through the experience of living through time.