Learning history is essential for understanding of the better world and structure of the society we live in. A lesson in history is a great journey to the past. One can learn many interesting things about the history of his/her country, famous people and events.
It is a chance to learn from others’ experience and a great opportunity to share your opinion with other students. There are hundred topics that one can be interested in during the course of study. As for me, the period of the colonial history of the United States is one of the most interesting and thought provoking.
Before learning this topic, I did not pay attention to that “page” in the history of the USA. However, the information I heard in class was really a starting point for my exploration of this topic. After these classes, I began searching for more information in order to learn more about the topic.
So, there are several reasons why I find this topic interesting. First of all, it is very important to know the history of your country. The second reason is that learning of this period helped me better understand the structure of the modern society and obtain general understanding of national traditions. I know that a New World was a mixture of different European nations that lived close to each other and learned from each other.
It is always interesting to observe the process of assimilation of different cultures and it is very useful for understanding of your own culture. Where did you come from? Who were your ancestors? How traditions of your family were formed? And why we live in such society? The exploration of this period provides answers for all these questions. And it gives “a critical understanding of the nation’s past” (Brinkley 2).
As I have already mentioned, I became very interested in the topic of the colonial America. So, it is no wonder that I learned many new things and interesting facts. For example, I learned more about the Mayflower Compact. I learned that it is often considered to be one of the foundations of the Constitution of the United States.
I leaned about culture of the first colonists and I found out how they survived in the new world. One more interesting thing that I learned is that the majority of new colonists were escaping from the religious persecution. Those were simple people who wanted to find a better place to live.
Obviously, it is not very interesting to learn history form textbooks only. The additional materials should be used at the lessons. They really attract students’ attention to the study material. It is always more interesting to watch a historical movie or clip than simply read the information. When students are involved in different types of activities, their motivation raises and their ability to memorize information is better.
So, listening to the teacher’s lection, we train our aural memory, watching movie, we train our aural and visual memory. The same thing concerning the use of pictures and music… I believe that additional materials play a great role. When students see that the teacher is energetic and is also interested in the topic, they are encouraged and motivated to work during the lesson and during the year as well.
So, the teaching style is a very important condition for the students’ successful performance. Moreover, if students are encouraged to participate in discussions, they develop their critical and analytical thinking, practice their speaking skills and have a great opportunity to share their opinions.
I think that history classes are the best ones for such activity. Finally, during history classes we are often asked to read additional information on the particular topic. It is very useful for broadening of our intellectual horizons and acquiring new knowledge.
So, these classes really influenced on my views about history. I have already mentioned that I learned a lot of new and interesting information. I learned how to work with the textbook and how use additional materials in order to broaden my knowledge. Furthermore, I changed my vision of the history. Now I now that one should not believe everything wrote in the book. The point is that history is made by people and interpreted by people.
Different factors, including political ones, influence on the historical interpretation of a particular event. The task for every student is to learn the material, discuss it with other students and create personal opinion about the issue. I really thought that first colonists lived happily in the “New World”, however, there is nothing perfect in our life and they faced many challenges as adaptation to new environment, confrontations with other nations and civil wars.
Everything that our ancestors survived provided a basis for the modern society and we should appreciate everything they did for us, a future generation. So, history classes are valuable not only in terms of learning a new material, but in terms of philosophical and independent evaluation of the better world.
Brinkley, Alan. American History, A Survey, Vol.I, 13th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 2008.