We live in an interconnected world, where events, people, and cultures have a direct impact on our lives.
It is crucial that future leaders understand the past to make decisions. That’s because it will have an impact on how their shape the future.
History is also important for students to master because it provides contexts for understanding how the past shapes the present.
It is important for students to understand that history is written by the victors because those with power and authority have the ability to shape how events are portrayed.
This makes it crucial for students to be able to identify bias in sources, recognize bias in their own thinking, and question why certain narratives are given prominence over others.
It is also important to introduce the character of history. It is not stagnant. The past continues to shape the present, so we can only truly understand the present by studying the past.
How can we help students develop a deeper understanding of the past?
It is important for students to question their own thinking and biases about events in history. We live in a society that tends to have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ perspective on historical events.
This is problematic since it does not provide students with a full or complete understanding of what happened or why something happened.
It is also important for students to be able to identify bias in their sources and recognize bias in their own thinking.
This helps them develop an awareness about why they believe what they do and how this impacts how they interpret historical information.
Students can develop these skills by:
- Reading multiple sources. The students could build a complete understanding about history; this helps students identify when one source may be biased due to the author’s point of view, agenda, etc.
- Asking probing questions about the source and the event based on evidence found in their primary source material. It engages them in critical thinking about both the source material and the event itself.
- Looking at historical events from multiple perspectives using primary source material by authors who may have had different points of view.
- Analyzing the historical context in which an event took place (i.e., social, political, economic, religious). Also, Identifying why it is important to understanding the event.
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