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Is History as a Subject in School Needed?

Can there be a much more useless subject than history, everything that you learn about has already happened and is in the past. It is often a long way in the past and you can’t even go and talk to people who participated in that bit of history. History is also difficult to teach, it is both vast as it contains everything in the past and is ever changing. The emphasis used to be on monarchs and dates, now everything is about social history. History can even disappear when those in power don’t like what has happened and want to make their role more heroic as Stalin did. History teaching is therefore a minefield and it is no surprise that many schools have given up upon it. But education secretary Michael Gove is trying to rekindle interest but can he succeed in a society where all that seems to matter are the grades achieved at the end. Getting a good grade is much simpler when the subject is not likely to change!

All the Yes points:

  1. History offers knowledge that coincides with other subjects
  2. History is something that people need to know.

All the No points:

  1. We learn from the mistakes and successes of others

History offers knowledge that coincides with other subjects

Yes because…

Whilst subjects such as Maths and Science may seem more important in a world that relies upon workers in the financial industry and doctors, History as a subject as less of a priority. However, History offers more than an update of past events. Pupils/students learn how to formulate arguments, compare and analyse sources, and learn about cultural differences and changes. Additionally, knoeldege aquired from History lessons may help with other topics. For instance, learning about a war or dictatorship might provide background knowledge which assists the pupil in understanding novel in English Literature studies. Young people need an all round eductaion in order to progres through the various challenges life brings. If history is not neccessary; why do we have museums? History offers knowledge about some of the greatest and most influential people from various time periods. Knowledge is always neccessary for progression.

We cannot pick and choose which subjects to learn about and which ones to ignore. History is closely interlinked with many other areas of subjects, and gives us greater insight into the world right now. Also, if we only concentrate on what currently exists and naively turn a blind eye to our past, then aren’t we disregarding the work of our forefathers? History is as important as any other subject, and should not be disregarded in any way.

No because…

History is something that people need to know.

Yes because…

I think that the subject of history is needed because we need to learn about how our country came to be, and we need to know about the famous people that ruled the countries because you never know what job you might have or what you might become when you grow older, so learning history in school may be a good thing and you’ll never know until you actually grow up.

No because…

We learn from the mistakes and successes of others

No because…

Knowledge as we have it; encompasses entirely of historical data. All the inventions and development we see and use today were made in the past. To create/invent again we need to stress on the hurdles and aides our historically successful inventor/creator predecessors faced and how they rose above adversity in the end. Learning from the heroes and dastards of the past, is far more time/cost-efficient than making the same mistakes ourselves. Knowing how someone solved a problem that we are presently facing saves us from having to deduce the answer ourselves. If history were not taught then nothing would be taught; no knowledge obtained in the past would be put to use and we’d be cavemen/women forever.

Perhaps, the same can be said of art or literature. Why is it hard to digest that entertaining anecdotes have overt or embedded lessons in them?

Wars do occur in and are relevant to our time; technologies may have changed but strategies and the will to win are not very different.

Conflict in any form is resolved more easily when we draw on the wisdom of our warrior forebears. Genghis Khan for example; taught us the value in unity/loyalty when facing an enemy.

Fashion is also influenced by ghosts of the past and those you claim the world will end in 2012 because the Mayan calender ended there do not laugh at the religions/beliefs of our ancestors.
Excuse me? How can you stand there and blindly intone that history is about wars and bloodshed? History is made out of much more than ‘battles, bloodshed and fashion’, how dare you disregard all that! Besides, all of history DOES relate to our lives nowadays. If we ignore our history how are we to learn from it?

Yes because…

History as a separate subject does not deal with scientific developments or achievement. History as a subject is composite of battles,bloodshed,fashion trends and odd superstitions that are laughable today.

One can assimilate nothing of value from how short Napoleon Boneparte was or how many people he killed or battles he won.

It’s all very entertaining but practically a load of hogwash.

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3 years ago

So students should be forced to learn history because its “very entertaining” which is of course an opinion that would be proven wrong if you get the statistics for how many students find history entertaining so i believe if anything, it should be offered as an elective.

4 years ago

yes history is important and i agree with the points mentioned but why dont you also talk about how history can help discover family,religion etc

Harshil Patel
4 years ago

study of history inculcates cultural awareness in students and further gives them
explanation of the present scenario and enables them to predict future possibilities. For
example, a student born in a country like India where various faiths, cults, cultures and
languages coexist will better understand his country’s diversity of cultures if he studies
history of his country. On the other hand, if a person is absolutely ignorant of history of
his country, he will live like an alien in his own homeland. This further will hamper his
ability to socialise with the people around him.

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