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Zoe Takala

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 5 2012: It's hard enough to ferret out truth from the histories we are taught by those who have taken the trouble to educate and inform themselves. To leave it to pop culture is to turn the world over to the old saw, "Everybody knows that...," which, of course, is nothing but "mob" history with close kinship to "mob" law. Those things children learn in their youth stay with them their whole lives. If those things are what I like to call reality, the child gets a good start; otherwise, not so much. Ever had an argument with anyone about Israel/Palestine? It's a perfect example of how people either pick and choose their "facts"; how they outright lie; and how they base their arguments on things "Everybody knows that...." The first step in resolving any conflict is for the parties to agree on what the facts are. If that cannot be done, there is never any mutually satisfactory solution and "might makes right" becomes the norm. History should equal facts. If it does not and if humanity never can agree that "Joe said this" or "joe did that" even seconds after Joe says or does something that gets recorded accurately, then humanity will never, ever have peace. So, yes, teaching history matters. Not teaching history is an abdication of responsibility. We must try to understand.

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