Importance Of History: At What Age Should History Be Introduced To Children In Schools In Abu Dhabi?

Mr. Ravi Rajasekhar
Mar 21, 2022
Importance Of Studying History

We live in a safe, dynamic country with a rich historical and cultural heritage.

As educators, we must ensure that students who live in Abu Dhabi and their learning are enhanced by knowledge and awareness of the history of the world.

It is critical for all students to maintain contact with their own traditions and culture.

Local students will graduate with internationally recognized qualifications, as well as cross-cultural communication skills and a broad, critical perspective, thanks to international, multicultural education.

But it's also crucial that they retain a strong feeling of identity and a solid understanding of their and every other country's cultural practices.

Schools in Abu Dhabi must take the onus upon themselves to incorporate true, authentic history, whether bitter or sweet and teach the kids to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors while also incorporating their good qualities to build a better future.

However, the argument lies as to when should children be introduced to history? But first, let’s discuss why should we focus on history?

Why Should We Focus On History?

Simply because it is our story. We can better grasp where we are now and perhaps decide what will happen in the future if we understand our past and where we came from.

What has transpired in the past has resulted in the current state of affairs. The way things are today will have an impact on how things are tomorrow.

When Should Children Be Introduced To History?

It is critical that we introduce history early on in education in order to comprehend all of this. History is the richest of all stories because it is the tale of everyone, everywhere, at all times.

Letting children know that they can inculcate values from the past to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future is crucial.

Independence, freedom within boundaries, and respect for a child's natural cognitive, physiological, and social growth are all promoted in the scientifically-based Montessori teaching approach. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, and educator created it.

For many years, 'historical consciousness has been a crucial notion in history education.

In the 1970s, the phrase was coined in Germany and then expanded to Scandinavia. It grew increasingly important in North America and the United Kingdom in the 2000s.

The word was directly used in the education program for ECEC in Berlin in relation to a goal that children should develop 'historical consciousness,' and the Norwegian Framework Plan objectives follow this line.

Historical consciousness can be characterized as the ability to connect the dots between interpreting the past, comprehending the present, and anticipating the future.

We need to understand at what age children in schools in Abu Dhabi are able to understand cause and effect, the consequences of certain actions, and the chronology of the past, present, and future.

According to research, historical consciousness develops at a much later age, and it is simply assumed that children of this age group are unable to develop in this manner.

This viewpoint is expressed eloquently by Peter Schulz-Hageleit: “historical consciousness” in any way possible only at the age of puberty/adolescence.”

Experts say that teaching history to children from a very young age has numerous advantages. Let’s discuss it.

The Benefits Of Studying History From A Young Age

● History gives us a sense of self. It helps us make better decisions and make better judgments.

● Models of ethical and responsible citizenship can be found throughout history.

● It also shows us how to learn from other people's mistakes.

● It aids in the comprehension of change and societal progress.

● It gives us a frame of reference for understanding ourselves and others.

● History not only gives us a nostalgic look back at how things used to be, but its lessons may also offer us vital insights into today's life.

● It can be the most fascinating of all stories, as well as the saddest and most startling.

● It's a story about all people, in all locations, at all times, and we can predict what will happen in the future because we understand the past.

● It serves as role models for good and responsible behavior, as well as teaching us how to learn from others' mistakes.

● History teaches us about how societies change and develop.

All of these are important and acceptable reasons to teach our children history after a certain age.

It is a tightrope one has to balance and inculcate the lessons of history while they're still impressionable but can still form their own opinions.

We need to shift the focus on teaching history eventually instead of fretting over the age at which it is taught.

One might argue how early is too early but starting history as a subject from children in primary schools in Abu Dhabi might do more harm than good.

Since they have not fully developed the capability to grasp the reasons for certain wars, reasons for the actions of leaders in the past, and why certain events have been omitted from history.

They need to be opinion leaders and not blindly follow history but learn to look at it through different lenses according to various contexts.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, research demonstrates that adequately mature teenagers may learn about violent historical activities without difficulty when accompanied by a supportive adult who aids them in investigating the true costs and repercussions of violence.

This has the extra benefit of preparing children to challenge our leaders the next time they advocate for war.

The youngsters, particularly at the grade level, 10 and 11-year-olds, have a strong sense of right and wrong, justice, and fair play.

Children as young as ten years old, according to Dr Thorsen, can detach themselves from brutal violence when it is presented in a historical context or as part of a story or lesson.

If we don’t teach our children to connect with history, then the consequences for our society could be disastrous.

The more we know about the past the better prepared we are for the future because by remembering the past, we realize that we are responsible for building a legacy for the generations that follow us.

Considering the greed that caused The War of the Roses, the family misunderstandings that caused the First World War, and the need for power that caused the Second World War, who would want to repeat them?

As the Spanish philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Thus it is adequately established and proven that History as a subject needs to be incorporated into the Abu Dhabi school curriculum from very early on in primary and Montessori years.

Mr. Ravi Rajasekhar

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