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Analyze the importance of history in education studies.

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would argue that history ought to be an important aspect of any course of study. But some specific reasons can be given for the importance of history to a curriculum in education studies. 

First, the study of history promotes critical thinking, and requires students to exercise metacognition, or thinking about how they learn. Many of the most important aspects of the study of history, including reading primary sources, evaluating different points of view on historical events, and especially evaluating the arguments of modern historians require the exercise of skills that people ought to be fostering in their students. 

Second, the study of history can help provide perspective on students themselves. Having taught in rural school districts in the South for many years, I learned that the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow are literally everywhere, and that they affected my students in ways I could only have recognized through the study of history. In this way, history fosters empathy--one of the most important skills an educator can have.

Finally, I would suggest that educators themselves ought to be aware of the importance of education, and this can only be gained through a study of history. Universal education is a fairly new phenomenon in historical terms, and again, using my own career as an example, the study of history made me aware of the options our work creates for students. Less than a century ago, children in the places I've taught would have had one of two futures to look forward to--farm or textile mill. Education creates opportunity, and educators need to know this.

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