Grade 10 History (Academic/Applied) Why Study History? What is History?

Grade 10 History (Academic/Applied)
Why Study History?
What is History? – History is the record of the life of people through the ages, written
after careful study, which attempts to interpret the significance to human beings of the
events recorded.
In Your own words:
Why do we study History? – The purpose of History is to explain the past as a key
to an understanding of the present and, hopefully, as a guide to the future.
“Those who do not know their history are
condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana
What can we Learn from History?
- Helps us to make decisions (private
and public) by providing examples.
- Helps us to evaluate decisions or
policies that have been made (success or
- Helps us to determine progress or
- We can draw parallels to our own
experience and help us understand our
- Provides a setting for literature and the
Arts to understand trends or ideology.
- Strengthens our heritage and culture by drawing on great
accomplishments (uniting thread) ie. Black History Month
History and Contemporary Studies
The discipline of history is concerned with change through time and the relationship of the past
to the present and the future. All historical work and thought tries to comprehend the human
experience as it has developed from the earliest times. This concern with change and
transformation is central to historical thinking and understanding. History shares approaches
with both humanities and social sciences – namely the development, encouragement and
advocacy of independent thinking.
History includes many types of study, such as: Political History - which studies forms of
government and political institutions. Economic History - which explains the past in terms of
economic factors. Social History - which describes the daily life of people and the evolution
of social structures. Cultural History – which interprets people’s contributions to the arts,
literature and science. History of Ideas – which recounts origin, evolution and influence of
major trends of thought throughout the ages.
Why Study History?
History is used to provide a sense of identity.
History is to people, what memory is to an individual, telling us who we are, where we came
from and what we value. History helps to provide a nation with an identity and allows its
people to understand the feelings, values and aspirations which give meaning to life. The
study of history should also encourage students to develop an understanding of individual
differences and foster an appreciation of the diversity of human interest, skills and behaviour.
History helps to explain the present.
Through analyzing the past and reliving experiences, students come to realize that people
throughout time have been confronted with similar types of situations and problems. By
studying history, students can understand the various ideologies, policies and actions which
have shaped today’s society. Students may acquire a perspective which allows them both to
appreciate more deeply their own society and apply the experience of the past in contemporary
times. As a result, students will develop a sense of continuity between the past, the present
and the future.
History encourages critical thinking.
A knowledge of history helps students develop thoughtful, creative, open-minded approaches
to situations and problems. Throughout the study of history, students should develop the
ability to distinguish between fact and opinion, identify cause-and-effect relationships and
recognize bias. As a result, their skills in evaluating evidence, making judgments, and solving
problems should be enhanced.
Students should know the main events and the significant people in the history of a variety of
countries. They should be aware of the ways that contemporary thought has been fashioned
by past civilizations. They will realize the human necessity for some political form and some of
the authority to ensure order and satisfy how these needs can be met. History will help
students to be sensitive to the diversity and complexity of social, political, economic and
cultural characteristics their own society.
“Appreciate that the present is rooted in the past, and that the past and present will
influence the future.”