It is both necessary and helpful to study the context of prior history because ignorance of history deprives us from the knowledge or understanding that we need in order to deal with encounters with others such as religious or political groups, another nation, culture or civilization. Without knowledge of the past, we cannot expect to see results or make progress in various situations because we will not be able to foresee how others may react to decisions or actions of others. “Students’ ability to think chronologically, comprehend the past, and analyze historical evidence enables them to pose their own historical questions.” (Brugar, 2012)
The way things are now is because of the way that things were yesterday, last week, last year or in decades past. The country is what it is today because of the past. For one to understand why this country is where it is in the present, we need to understand the past. We need to understand why we have been involved in past wars, what precipitated those wars, why were we involved or what our interest was in the war and how we suffered or benefited from them. All of this background shapes and somewhat defines how we handle current or future conflicts or wars.
It is also important to study history because historians are always reinterpreting the past and asking new questions. They are looking for new sources of information to gain more insight to the past and our understanding of the past. When we are constantly reviewing and reinterpreting the past, it essentially means that the past is always changing. “The institutions and ideas, therefore, that provide for freedom and improvement in the material conditions of life cannot take root and flourish without an understanding of how they came about and what challenges they have had to surmount.” (Kagan, 2014).
... win the seemingly endless Vietnam guerilla war. Reading this book will give us a better understanding of the Vietnam conflict—what caused ... away numerous fallacies and myths which still surround the war. They seek to understand how and why events in Southeast Asia came ... out of the recent past, Americans on both sides of the debate have badly misused or misinterpreted history itself. What indeed did ...
Studying the experiences of participants in history gives us insight into why things are the way they are in the world today. It helps us understand current customs and traditions. Understanding the experiences of participants in history may help us interpret the outcomes of certain events that took place in history. Studying the experiences of participants in history also provides us with insight into patterns and turning points in history.
Studying history and participants of the past allows us to explore the diversity of human experience-how people have differed in their ideas, through their thoughts and cultural practices and how their experiences have varied. Some of the experiences have varied by the time period, their location in the world, and how they have dealt with or struggled through others in the shared spaces.
The resources that will be the most helpful to me as a student of history will be the library and the internet. Finding books that pertain to the topic that you are studying will be readily available at the library. Many of them may say the same thing, but it is still important to read through a variety of books. There are also a variety of journals that can be found in the library at no cost to the public. When using the internet as a resource, many of the journals available come at a cost to the end user. As a DeVry student, there are a variety of journals and articles available to us at no cost. Encyclopedias are another resource that can be used that contain factual material.
Brugar, K. A., (2012).
Empowering students through history: The Giver as a metaphor and preparation for studying history in the secondary classroom. History Teacher, 46(1), 85-94. Kagan, D., (2014).
Why we should study the history of western civilization. Modern Age, 56(2), 81-86.