Here’s a question…. Should history be taught in school. If so, to what extent?
I am a history teacher at a middle school here in Texas. I personally LOVE history and I enjoy learning more about it. That said, I can also see why kids think history is pointless and irrelevant. They say that history isn’t applicable to normal life. In many ways, they are right. Sure, history shows you the mistakes of the past and what happened as a result, but it is rarely the same circumstances surrounding it.
So, how should history be approached educationally?
Here’s my idea. I believe history should be taught on a basic level. Individual battles should not be glorified. Students should be taught causes of wars and results of wars. We should teach more about economic and social impact of wars, documents, instead of diving deep into trivial details. Focus more on a solid foundation and save super in depth study to students wanting to learn more. Make most history an elective class intended for students seeking a career in the subject.
Focus more on Government and Economics. In a country where 92 million people (40 percent) didn’t vote government should be emphasized. In a country that is 19 trillion dollars in debt, economics should be a priority. In short, history should become social studies once again. Government would teach how the U.S. government functions and how laws are made. It teaches valuable information to help Americans become informed about the system that governs them and to let them know their rights and responsibilities as United States citizens. Economics would teach about the financial system, the stock market, and taxes. It would help balance a checkbook, do your taxes, and teach you the basics. Supply and demand, inflation, loans, and interest; these are all subjects that are extremely relevant in the 21st century.
I will continue to teach history to the best of my ability, but I will not acknowledge that the Battle of Saratoga will help the majority of Americans in their future careers. Let’s change the educational system to be more relevant and applicable to the job market and life.
What do you think? Should the educational system be reformed? If so, how?