Let Us Not Become So Focused On The Future That We Forget About Our History

In today’s world, education needs to be continuously evolving in order to keep up with the latest technological and scientific developments. New content is regularly introduced to curriculums and new research shapes the way that schools around the world deliver their programs. All of this is necessary and beneficial in many ways. It does make me question though, if there are areas of learning that become buried under all of it. After all, there comes a point where educators simply need to make decisions about what to prioritise, but I wonder how many of them are prioritising history. 

I find History to be a fascinating and thought-provoking subject. Give me a historical novel or yet another war movie over the latest teen series any day. When I reflect on my years at school though, I can’t help but feel a little gypped in the education (or lack of education) I received in this subject area. The disappointing thing is that I am not alone in this. Almost all of my uni peers had very little historical knowledge and some of the schools that I have worked in seemed to neglect this subject too. It does not make sense to me that History is seen as a subject that can be pushed aside for the sake of others. What is the point of trying to educate the next generation of leaders to be wise, fair and successful if they are uninformed about the leaders of the past? How can students form a firm identity without knowledge of where they have come from? How can we expect students to navigate through the ever-changing present day unless they understand the significance of the people, events and inventions that shaped it?

I never learnt much more about history than the names of the early settlers to Australia and who was on which side during the World Wars, but I am excited to continue my own journey through history alongside the children I teach. With battles and wars, explorations and quests, good guys and bad guys, kings and queens, new discoveries, inventions, love affairs, betrayals, knights, sailors, Vikings, Indians, leaders, followers, castles, cathedrals, politics, power, revolutions, migration, poverty, wealth, bravery, cowardice, oppression and freedom, who could possibly want to skim over history?

(Edited from original 2016 post)

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