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Student, High School

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Is History an important subject in school? Or should we be focusing on the future?

In a year 3 essay on dinosaurs I once concluded (much to my teachers dismay) on the statement "We should not learn about dinosaurs in school, because they are in the past, and we need to focus on the future." I now see that history is important, but is it important enough to be a main part of classrooms around the world?

Do you think that history should be condensed or eliminated, and replaced by more pressing issues?


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  • Apr 2 2012: A few thoughts on...

    Learning from history :There can be no unbiased appreciation after the fact, all perspectives of past eventstravel through layers of interpreatation and interpolation. Do not expect truths from history books, expect opinions and observation. Pre-video history is all about probability, not certainty. When several sources each tell you a different thing, how do you judge the facts of the matter?

    Modern examples of this abound, here in Canada, a bi-cultural nation, we have several differing histories, the aborigional song of the past, the fracophone tale of woe and the loss at Abraham in when the English brought thier rule, among others. This difference is institutionalized, with vastly differnt accounts of past, and present, offered in the schools of culturally different areas.

    Added to this is your own bias... when one reads the plight of the slaves, the child labor,we have an instinctive moral response. Spartan boys of 8 were taken from thier mothers, beaten and starved in a regimen that we would not see fit to visit upon the worst of our criminals, and this was a culturally sound policy, for it made them the pre-eminent infantry in Greece for several generations.

    And yet we gloss over Aristotles endorsement of slavery, as we do the pedastry of Socrates, who considered it the honored duty of a greek male to introduce the sons (12-14) of his friends to the arts of love. It was something you did, if you wanted to be a good friend and citizen.

    We keep the legend of the 300 spartans at Thermopolaye alive, and The Physics, and the Dialoges, while simultaneously divorcing them from the peoples and cultures who did and made these things. Trying to understand history from a litany of dates is meaningless without the context of culture, and all of those cultures are dead. So to often we bring the present into our understanding of history, rather than tan the objective obverse.

    • Apr 3 2012: Echoes of Nietzsche. Cultural bias defines history. Like most of his sophist remarks, "those who forget the past are doomed to relive it" is misinterpreted as a life lesson to be taught. He was actually referencing his theory of eternal recurrence. I'd like to know your opinion of my reply to the history question. Thanks

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