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Is Studying History Still Important?

Sep 09, 2011

History has long been a typical part of any student's list of required courses throughout their school years. But does this class still deserve a spot in core curriculums?

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By Jessica Lyons

history

Lessons Not Learned

According to 'The Nation's Report Card: U.S. History 2010,' which was released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, of the about 29,000 fourth, eighth and 12th grade students surveyed, fewer than 25% were 'at or above the proficient level in 2010.' According to a July 28, 2011 CNN article, some educators feel this low percentage could be the result of students simply not being interested in the subject. Students always want to know how the class material will actually help them after they're out of school, and if they see history as a subject that won't be of any use to them it can make it difficult to capture their interest.

Additionally, CNN notes, history may not be made as much of a priority as other subjects since it is not part of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) testing. Because of the emphasis placed on NCLB, teachers might feel pressure to make sure students are doing their best in the subjects that will be part of the test. Since history isn't on the test, teachers could be spending less time on it so that they can instead focus on other areas.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • American History
  • Ancient Studies
  • Asian History
  • Classical Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies
  • Cultural Resource Management
  • European History
  • Historic Preservation
  • History of Science and Technology
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Museum Studies
  • Public History and Archival Administration

Why Students Need to Know History

There are several reasons why history is an important part of any student's education. First of all, it helps to show how we've gotten to where we are and can help create a sense of appreciation for what we have. Students can also develop a greater sense of community and pride in where they live. It might even make them better and more informed citizens as they hear about how people throughout history have made positive impacts on the world.

Students who understand history could also benefit from being able to learn from the past. It's been said many times that it's important to learn from our mistakes, and we can also learn a great deal from the mistakes of our ancestors. For example, learning about World War II and the Holocaust shows what can happen when hatred is left unchecked. Students could be able to use what they've learned in history to help make sure past mistakes aren't repeated.

Careers Related to History

One reason why some students may feel they don't need to worry about history is because it won't help them while they're in the working world. But that's not necessarily the case, since there are many history-related careers for students with a passion for the subject. Of course, two of the obvious options would be as a history teacher or as a historian. In both of these professions, individuals have a chance to help preserve history and pass it on to future generations. Other positions where a history background could come into play are as an archivist, researcher or writer.

Do you like learning about the past? Then be sure to check out these ten top history blogs.

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