Most of us didn’t.
If you did, you were lucky to have a natural flare for it.
Exceptions like you apart, history even today is taken to be a boring subject in the school’s curriculum. Many students cannot even connect to the reason why the subject exists. They argue about why are they being forced to mug up dates and lives of people who are not at all relevant for them in any way.
If we look at it objectively, are they wrong in saying this?
To a student’s mind, subjects like English, Math and Science make a clear relevance and connection to their career, aspirations and future life. But History? What will they gain out of it? We do give them a couple of vague theories around it but practically speaking, how does a child genuinely connect to the need for learning history as a subject? And also how does the kid realize that this subject shall be truly valuable to them in their life ahead?
Moreover, the typical rote learning prevalent in our schools, stoops to its worst in the case of social sciences, especially history. It’s just about memorizing facts and long paragraphs about historical events. The burden of memorizing kills whatsoever interest a teacher can try to generate. And then comes the assessments. Centered on repeating and reproducing mugged up text, assessments in history have at large been reduced to a draconian memory tests for kids. All they have to really do is to cram all the text and write it out exactly the same way in the exam.
Thinking about all this, many questions arise to a concerned mind.
Have we made our kids realize the relevance of history before teaching it?
Why were Social Science Labs conceptualized in schools? If yes, have they served the purpose at large?
And can we make history learning a bit more interesting and engaging for our students?
For the sake of our students, we would love to search, collate and share the answers to these. Do you have any? If yes, please share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org