Yes, you read it right. I was never a fan of history in my high school days; used to hate History. I should not be ashamed to accept that I used to score low in the subject. Most of the time I was not able to understand why I need to retain historical information which I am not going to use in my real life or even will end up forgetting everything five years down the lane.
Believe me, many a time I asked myself ‘why do you find history boring?’ The question remained unresolved for years until the recent past. In fact, I always used to tell my mother that “once I pass my grade 10 board exam, I will never read history again”. I still remember the day of my grade 10 history exam. Before going to the exam centre I gave the book to my mother and told her, “please hide it or throw it. I don’t want to see the book again in my room.”
Now when I reflect and try to find the answer to the question, I used to ask myself, I can see, to some extent, a clear picture. I realized I was under some myth.
Myth 1. History is a boring subject
One of the main reasons I used to hate history maybe it was taught in a very boring way either through lectures which consist of the teacher rambling on an event that took place long ago or we had to read many chapters of a thick book. The entire process was boring to me. Now I see teachers show documentary films or movie clips or do role-playing to teach the subject.
So the 👇 quote by Dr Stephen Ambrose is apt in my case.
Myth 2. History is just about dead people
I had my mindset that history always talks about dead people. But in reality, history is much more than that. Now I like reading history on other things like how the paper came into use or how people used to leave in ancient age or how and why our constitution was made. These are not about dead people; in fact, they are like stories and I like reading storybooks.
Myth 3. History is just about memorizing dates, years, places etc
History indeed involves memorizing a lot of information like names of places or dates. But memorizing all these information mindlessly without understanding the purpose, is definitely wrong. But I see students nowadays just get the big picture of any important event and then understand the significance of that event on the present and the future. Now, this process makes the memorization quite easy for students.
“I wish I could attend a history class now, I hated it when I had the chance.”
Myth 4. History requires lecture and reading thick textbooks
Lecture oriented history classes will definitely be a tedious thing. Nowadays teachers apply different methods to teach history for example they take their students to field trip and allow them to explore and learn about history. I have seen many students visiting historical places or museum or even plan scavenger hunt to you understand in history. They prefer understanding than learning. If if I were a student now, I would have not hated history rather enjoy all these hands-on activities to know about our precious history.
Myth 5. History is irrelevant
I always wondered about the proper application of history in our life as I was under the myth that history is irrelevant. Then I didn’t understand that without the past there wouldn’t be any future. We often say that our childhood days are important to shape our present and future. We learn from our past mistakes. If these are true then history is definitely relevant.
Now I realized that History is not boring instead history is awesome.
Now I am a firm believer of the 👆 quote by Michael Crichton. We really need to know our history otherwise we will lose our essence.
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To find out more, you can read this article on The Washington Post
Find my previous post here.