why do we study history at school

The study of history is important because it allows one to make more sense of the current world. One can look at past economic and cultural trends and be able to offer reasonable predictions of what will happen next in today's world. One can also understand why some rules exist in the modern world. For example, one can understand the importance of the social welfare programs if one looks at the Great Depression and New Deal. We can also look back on the Civil Rights movement and see why the United States puts so much effort into creating a system where everyone is equal before the law and has equal access to public amenities.


History also allows us to see how the United States gradually created the Constitution after it had just fought a war against a central government that did not care for colonial interests. Without a background in history, one does not appreciate why the Constitution was revolutionary for its time. More broadly, history enables us to understand different cultures. If those are not good reasons for studying history, one can study history because it allows one to exercise his/her critical thinking skills.


These critical thinking skills are important for all areas in life, academic and otherwise. Historians also write a great deal; a study of history allows one to practice writing for different audiences.
There are many reasons to study history, just as there are to study any discipline. P The advancement of knowledge and understanding for its own intrinsically merit might be one reason. P History is a compendium of understanding that might have no other reason but an intrinsically compelling reason to study.


P This makes history unique in that there might not be some external benefits to the discipline's study, but rather simply cause individuals to know more. P From an external point of view, there is a line of logic that argues that history repeats or patterns can emerge. P In studying history, we, as learners, better understand these sequences and can better grasp such unfolding. P Another reason might be to reconnect with out past. P In studying history, we accept that we are a part of something larger than ourselves and in this, we better understand our own sense of identity.


P If I live in the temporal present only, I might believe that no one else endured what I do. P Yet, in studying history, I am able to understand how my predicament is similar to someone else's who came prior to me. P I might also be able to examine what they did and assess if this is a path that I want to take or something I wish to avoid. P in the end, I think that the study of history is one where individuals are able to connect themselves to something larger than merely subjective consciousness.

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