In 2010, students nationwide were given a test that covered eight subjects: writing, reading, science, math, history, geography, economics, and civics. Out of these eight subjects, it was found that the students performed the worst in history.
Why Is History Important?
For students to understand where we, as a society, came from, it’s important to learn about what happened in our history. Why are we so big on having freedoms? How does having freedom affect our ability to live out the American dream? How do our attitudes about freedom affect how we see other societies that do not have freedoms? These questions go on and on. Through teaching about history, students are also able to revere the heroes of American history including the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln. We are also able to see how our government has made some mistakes, including going to war with Vietnam and how races besides those of European descent were treated poorly through slavery and then segregation.
What the Results Show
In the test that was given, it was found that most students in the fourth grade were unable to say why Abraham is an important figure in American history. The high school seniors were worse; only 2 percent were able to say what social problem the Brown v. Board of Education decision was trying to correct in 1954. That was in spite of the fact that they were given a passage from the decision that pretty much spelled it out for them.
The fact is that in many classrooms, history is put on the back burner. Many teachers and students see it as less important.