Rationale: Why Study History?
History is the memory of mankind. It gives us a foundation and context from which we proceed with our lives in the present. It gives us a sense of our identity, community and culture and puts us in a framework from which we can relate to the rest of the world.
In History, pupils find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions. To do this they need to be able to research, sift through evidence, and argue for their point of view – skills prized in adult life. (DfEE, History National Curriculum for England)
History fires pupil’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organized their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people. They can see the diversity of human experience, and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.
One of the most important purposes of History for me is that it provides us with so much inspiration in the form of positive role models. History is full of people who stood up for what was right and made a difference in the lives of those around them, their communities and even in the world. Studying such figures cannot fail to inspire the children of the present into emulating and possibly even surpassing those who have gone before. One of the most important responsibilities of a history teacher is not to pass on facts and dates to be learned, but rather to learn lessons from all that we as humans have done wrong, and to draw inspiration from those who make us proud to be humans!