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McKenzie Cronin

Professor Thomson

History 151

June 24, 2017

Final Reflection

After learning much information about the start of the United States from this

class, I am certain that the founding fathers of this country have had a huge impact on

how our country functions today. They made decisions that will affect our country

forever with the decision to separate from Great Britain, write the Constitution starting

with We the people, create a federal bank, and institute their morals into our country. I

believe that the vision of education today exists because of our founding fathers.

Knowledge of history is essential to understand the world, but what kind of

history needs to be taught in our classrooms? Teachers have always agreed that the

history of the United States and European history were the two most important types of

history of study. New history is emerging today and administration needs to decide what

will be taught in classrooms (McNiell). Many people believe that it is important to switch

to a more structured curriculum. To decide what is taught, it will be up to historians to try

and combine the old and the new history. In order of importance, history should be

taught: locally, nationally, and globally. These three levels are the parts of history that

affect what other groups of society do. Teachers and curriculum planners have the

struggle to include national history into classrooms. It is a difficult task to decide what

part of national history should be taught at the high school and college level.
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While the study of history does not lead to the prediction of future events, it

fosters wisdom and knowledge of the past to analyze what is going to happen next.

Broadening our humanity and recognizing the similarities and differences throughout the

recorded past is an important reason for studying history of people far away and long ago


Postma argues that the measurement of the modern students worth it determined

by his ability to achieve in the fields of mathematics, science, or literary arts. Social

sciences have no bearing and no consequences on the overall construction of a childs

education. Children in school need to be able to distinguish the importance of the past

and use history to define the present. History can provide these things, all while giving

each child, regardless of race, creed, gender, or nationality, a framework which to

identify themselves and interpret the world around them (Postma). History provides a

cultural literacy; it allows a lens through which to understand historical names, dates,

events, and concepts. History gives us meaning. It provides us with a format to develop

meaningful interpretations necessary to examine the events that shape modern society

(Postma). Postma also argues how history can great for classrooms because it brings in

perspectives from different groups, forming authentic discussion, compromise, and

empathy, which are the traits that are the basic ingredients for active citizenship in a

complex and ever-changing world (Postma). History is extremely important for students

to learn because it is a lesson of intentions, movements, experiments, and human

production. It is a lesson that builds integrity and character within our children. History

teaches us to move forward, recognize our mistakes and learn from them, and ultimately
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create a better existence for all (Postma). History needs to be a part of every students


James Madison declared that the very glory of the people of America is their

dual respect for and challenge to the past. James Madison is shifting away from a person

of authority, which is part of why our government is set up the way it is. Just like the

founders of our country, we need to look to the past and the present to plan for the future

(Hodges). There have been multiple thinkers and builders who came before us, and each

of these thinkers showed a concern for the past as a tool for both understanding the

present and scoping the future (Hodges).

After reading all of these articles, it is clear how important history is for all

persons to learn about. Children need to learn about different parts of history in school in

order for them to be a functioning member of society and make decisions on the future of

our country. As a future educator, I am grateful to read these articles because it will lead

to contribute to society by educating elementary students. In the majority of my education

classes, reading and mathematics is pushed to be the most important, and social studies

often gets pushed down the list of importance. After this class, I have realized how

important it will be for my future students to make connections between the past and the

present. Students need to be able to analyze our countrys history and think critically

about decisions that need to be made in the future based on the history.
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Hodges, Blair. Hodges- Final Essay, On Rhetorical Uses of History to Understand the

Present. Academia.edu. N.p., 7 May 2012. Web. 25 June 2017.

McNeill, William H. Why Study History. American Historical Association, 1985. Web.

25 June 2017.

Postma, Michael. What Can History Teach Us Today? ASCD Express 6.22 0 What Can

History Teach Us Today? N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2017.