Team Forum 4

Apr 23

The Enlightenment Gives Birth to Revolution and Romanticism

Interdisciplinary Forum, during during Social Science lecture, 11:15-12:05, using the Soc Sci Zoom.

Over the course your first term at CGS, you have studied the origins of human language; the development of complex and diverse cultures across the globe; and the evolution of social systems in nations (and empires) wrestling with religion and monarchy as new ideas about knowledge emerged in the wake of of scientific discovery, philosophical inquiry, and novel forms of art and literature. Such advances in human awareness, a series of revolutions—political, social, and intellectual—contributed to new and seemingly radical definitions of individual rights. In what is now the United States, for instance, the Declaration of Independence offered as its major premise the Enlightenment idea that, from birth, humans enjoy “natural” or “inalienable” rights. Locke’s “life liberty and property” became Jefferson’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet you have also learned, as you studied a host of texts, that Enlightenment ideals of equality were tainted by the persistence of slave-owning in many nations; by the scientific racism embedded in the work of canonical western philosophers; and by undemocratic forms of government and the hierarchical forms of social organization those governments continued to sustain.

Now that your view of human history has been so complicated by your study in a general education program, how would you propose that world history be taught in the future? Drawing from the texts we have read and your own experience educationally in nations the world over, what improvements would you suggest be made?

73 responses to “Team Forum 4

  1. In our history classes currently, most students learn history as a set narrative. This process mistakenly reinforces the idea that the past can be synthesized into a single chronicle of several hundred pages. By pretending that there is a single truly uniform and collective story, we are making the assumption that every person in history remembers specific events in the same way.

    I think teaching history is a much more complex process that doesn’t just focus on teaching a collection of facts that are deemed to be credible by scholars. Different collections of history come in multiple forms. Some information comes in stories. Other credible information comes through experience. Truly, if we are going to call ourselves historians, students would be better served by going into the depths of conflict to find resolve. Exposure to difficult topics and spanning viewpoints can be distressing, but the learning that comes as a result is exponential and priceless.

  2. History should be taught from different perspectives and not just one perspective. Learning history through a small lens can be quite detrimental to students in that it may create an ignorant mindset about how countries, people, and institutions have been affected by certain events. History is a complex subject, in that, different people from all over the world have been affected in different ways.

    The quote, “History is written by the victors” by Winston Churchill is quite true in that as students living in the United States, we often learn history through the lens of U.S. citizens from the past and U.S. scholars. But this is also dangerous in that we grow up only knowing one perspective of how things turned out and what the effects were. In order to become better scholars and, in general, better understanding people, history needs to be taught from multiple lenses.

  3. Here in The West, the way world history is taught to us is in a very Western-centric manner, especially as we approach the present. The cultural contributions and scientific advances of the Greeks and Romans are covered thoroughly while those of the Islamic Caliphate or the Chinese and Mongols are not. We learn little about native cultures except for in the context of their capitulation to Western colonizers. While I do agree that there is likely isn’t enough record of some of these civilizations, we are often taught that what Western philosophers and civilizations came up with were novel and revolutionary when they often were not. This issue likely arises from the chronological way history is taught, where when we get to the beginning of the middle ages, so much is going on in Europe that there’s only enough time in a course for Western history to be taught.

    A good way to remedy this is instead of teaching history strictly in a chronological timeline, it should be instead taught in a way that highlights ideas or themes in history. The silk road, spice trade, colonialism, or Mongol conquests can be taught in the context of global connectedness. The transition from polytheism to monotheism and world churches can be taught in the context of religious revolutions. Confucianism, the Renaissance, Communist uprisings, and the Arab Spring can all be taught in the context of cultural and political revolutions. Teaching events in a purely chronological manner makes it harder for students to see events from the past and relate them to events closer to the present. This also remedies the issue of material becoming concentrated in 1st-18th century Europe, as now all important events relating to a significant historical phenomenon can be examined rather than all important events in a specific era, events which may have several different areas of significance.

  4. More often than not, people learn history in a chronological order and as factual information, rather than being told why these events have happened. In addition, it is rare for students to learn about historical events through multiple narratives, rather we are told the causes and effects for the cause of a significant event. It seems to be the case that when learning history, students often seem to hold a position of perhaps pretentiousness as if it is impossible for these events to happen again.

    I would suggest that students learn about a wider variety of history, rather than normally the history of the Western world and only the extremely significant events in other parts of the world. Additionally, I would suggest that history be taught from a less biased perspective, as it is often the case that ‘winners’ write history. Further, I would recommend that perhaps history should be a course taught later on in student’s lives rather than from a young age. Learning about history at a more mature age will mean that students will be able to grasp concepts much easier than when they were younger.

  5. Studying history will always be the most complex and intricate subject to master because there is no right answer. Every historical event, shift, and reformation has angles. It is incredibly easy, and useful in some respects, to choose one perspective and teach it as truth, but it is incredibly important we learn to teach history subjectively as possible. What we know of history becomes the truth of the present, and it is increasingly dangerous to rely on biased recounts of history as time goes on. Making history unbiased is in many ways impossible, we cannot go back in time and count all the dead and redraw maps and record speeches, we need to rely on hearsay. Anyone who has studied psychology can attest that a memory is constantly at work in the mind, it is never cemented, changing from person to person and within an individual over time. The way to reprimand this fallacy, in my eyes, is to teach one story from every possible angle one can find, and rely more on the accounts of the oppressed than the oppressor. When biases of all sorts are laid over one another, the angle closest to the truth seems to appear in the common ground. Additionally, teaching students to constantly question and analyze what they are expected to accept as truth will create a generation of thinkers that are more curious, determined, and analytical in both study and life.

  6. On page 110 of “Sapiens”, Harari points out that “history is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.” I think that to adding an examination of average lifestyles from different time periods would add depth and evoke personal connections in the history curriculum. Specifically, by dedicating time to examine the day-to-day of people from different classes and races, it provides a richer understanding of the kinds of inequalities and division that were implicit in human civilizations. It may also give us a richer understanding of the socioeconomic and racial inequalities in our current human civilization by way of comparison.

  7. United States history has been taught from a primarily white point of view, with the common outliers such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.. Our whole education is based upon the Western world’s perspective (Isn’t is coincidental that all world maps we have access to and that are in our school systems are centered around Europe?). I believe our generation will start teaching history from multiple perspectives of one occurrence rather from an outdated textbook because they see how their singular learning in primary school made them unaware to the other factors other people face.

    History should not be black and white (reference to the races we cover in school and the metaphor). Although the United States history in slavery is necessary to talk about and an almost foundation for the beginnings of this country, I think indigenousness peoples history should also be covered. I do not want my children to learn about Christopher Columbus in any regards but negative, I want them to learn about who he hurt so Spain could have power. I think history, especially about the United States, should not merely cover who came here but who was here and what their civilizations were like.

  8. As I grew up, I was taught history in a very Western-centralized way. I’ve been learning about Europe and America for my entire life, yet there are still so many other cultures, ideologies, and regions that I learned almost nothing about in school. This in turn has molded my thinking (and I’m sure the thinking of thousands of other people my age) to adhere to Western principles. I think that when we teach world history, there should be more of an emphasis on the “world” aspect. We live in a globalized society and should adapt our learning to fit it.

    Additionally, I think that we have implicitly been taught that historical figures have a certain degree of infallibility to them. This is especially apparent in the United States, as people such as the Founding Fathers are celebrated as the founders of our nation. I believe that this glorification has led certain criticisms regarding them to be somewhat dismissed. For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote about ideals of equality and democracy, yet was an extremely racist slaveowner. I think that history should be taught without this idea of infallibility and without glorification. We do not live in a perfect world; injustices exist everywhere. Our understanding of history should reflect that, and should instill in us the desire to create a better world.

  9. History is a very finicky topic to cover. Although history can simply be told to you, that does not entirely work out in practice. From my experience, a combination of images, videos, talking, primary sources, and different options make a topic well-rounded. However, nothing is better than seeing the actual place or artifacts. For example, I learned about World War 1 and 2 in the United States in history class. Seeing pictures, videos, lectures, and my teacher even brought artifacts from both wars for us to touch and feel. This not only made the lesson very real but made me say, “this really happened.” Then, a year later, I went to France and studied the same thing. I was entirely wrong to think that the class would cover the same material from a year prior. Besides the basic facts, what was different was the opinion. In America, all we talked about was the American involvement in the wars and the American point of view. In France, I learned about the European perspective. Not only did I get to see the artifacts in the United States, but we went to the beaches of Normandy, saw gravestones, read real historical documents at a historical archive, and so much more. Physically being there added so much more to simply reading and listening. Seeing the real thing, although not always possible, is most beneficial while learning history.

  10. Learning about past events through history classes is complex in ways other subjects are not. In my opinion, it is extremely difficult to fully understand a situation unless there is a direct telling from someone who experienced the event. Many times, classes forget to remember that these are real people and real things that happened, simply listening and memorizing. The world’s history has effected so many different parts in countless ways, and in order to fully grasp that, diverse perspectives need to be offered and heard from.

    I believe that in order to keep students from remaining on autopilot and have them come to better understandings of the importance of history, we need to go outside the rose colored glasses the U.S. seems to always wear. I find that a lot what I have learned has simply been formed from the country’s perspective, and most of the time the USA is frankly arrogant. Less bias and further analysis into past events would be a much more effective way to recognize the realities of the history of the world.

  11. From my experience, world history has always been taught in a way that biases Western culture, showing Western culture and leaders as the most intelligent, morally grounded, and unique. However, these things are not true at all. While there were many incredible transformations and leaders of great discovery and change, Western history is also littered with religious conflict, racism, sexism, and colonialism. It is important that we acknowledge the wrongs of Western culture and have an in-depth understanding of it, along with the implications it had on other nations and states.

    I think in the future world history needs to not just focus on European events as the most important, but provide an equally rounded view of all cultures during the time period being studied and how each of the events and changes happening across the world affected one another. While learning about Western ideas, however, it is important to separate a thinker or leader from his ideas and views. This will help prevent idolization of Western figures, only to learn that they did or believed something we now consider socially and morally unacceptable. I think that being able to have a multicultural and interdisciplinary view of the world and its history will help students develop more rational and informed opinions about Western culture.

  12. History is an extremely difficult topic for a student to fully grasp. There are many factors that contribute to the formation of what is considered important enough to be taught in history courses. History should be taught from an unbiased standpoint and courses should cover events in their entirety. It is very difficult to teach a person all of history which is why certain events are singled out and retaught to be remembered as critical turning points.

    I believe that in order for history to be taught properly, there needs to be aspects of historical information incorporated in all courses. When we learn about the past, it is very difficult to keep track of the timeline of events between the different classes we are learning. I believe that this is a benefit of being in a general studies course where all the individual classes interact with each other.

  13. Throughout my experience of only attending school in Massachusetts, much of the history that has been taught has generally been presented from the perspective of the United States. However, in order to get a greater sense of ideas on different topics throughout history, one would need to have multiple viewpoints and perspectives to capture a greater understanding. If students are only taught one way of thinking, they limit their ability to understand other viewpoints in the real world. For example, it is easy to create an enemy figure while explaining war if one only explains the hardships and justifications of one country in addition to describing the opposing country as evil and inadequate. However, if students are never exposed to the so-called enemy country’s perspective, students may never have realized the wrongdoings and mistakes made by the country they were originally exposed to. Without multiple perspectives from different people, cultures, countries, and so on, students will learn to be close-minded. If students are given multiple outlooks on different historical topics, it will allow students to gain a deeper understanding of certain topics and explore different reasonings. While I’ve found that over time I have been exposed to more viewpoints regarding historical events, there is still room for improvement by allowing all perspectives to be heard.

  14. I believe history needs to be taught in a synchronous manner. Many times my history courses have taught based on a certain geographical area or group, however each land is not specifically separate from one another. I feel that the best way to teach history is in a manner that clearly displays the connection different cultures have to one another. Also, based on Kant’s belief in the importance of individual importance of learning, I do believe history should also be a more individual experience. Though everyone should get the basics of history, I feel like a main component should be on individual research on a subject of history that they find most interesting. This will allow for creativity and innovation among historians from younger ages.

  15. History is such a complex topic and there are still so many things we don’t know even today. I have always been taught world history with a heavy focus on Western ideas and principles. Even in courses that are meant to share perspectives from across the world, it’s always been taught in a way that leaves places other than the United States and European countries as an afterthought. It seems that we’re always taught about European ideas first and as if those ways are the “correct” way of thinking, and then we briefly compare them to other places and how they’re different from European ideals—they’re always compared back to Europe. I think it’s important to draw similarities and differences between different places, but it’s also important for it to be taught not making one place or way of thinking as if one is better than the other.

  16. History serves not only as an important recognition of the great accomplishments that were made during the world’s complex and unique past, but as well as highlighting crucial moral lessons learned from studying the struggles people have endured, the consequences of events, and the mistakes that have been made. That is why the education of history is extremely important, even more so at a young age where kids are beginning to construct moral concepts. Therefore, this means that the way history is taught is just as essential as the content itself when it comes to how effective it is when educating students.

    With that being said, I believe there needs to be a necessary change to the way history is taught at a young age. At primary school, our curriculum consisted of cherry-picked information that was generally sugar-coated for the western view. Part of it has to do with building a nationalistic view of America, that we are a country of only good, prosperity, freedom, and power, and the other part is to expose children to a brighter take on history. However, as I grew older and dug deeper into history at a higher educational level, I became disappointed in realizing that my existing knowledge of the very foundation of this country has contradicted itself with the truth. For example, Christopher Colombus was not a heroic figure as much as I once thought, in fact, he was a mass murderer and the father of the slave trade, and the ideas of the Declaration of Independence were tainted by its fathers who themselves contradicted “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all people by owning slaves.

    The fact is that history can be very dark but it is necessary to expose our kids to it at a young age without underestimating their learning capacities, that way we effectively learn not only its content but all of the moral lessons that history has to offer. It is important to acknowledge what is morally wrong as well as the faults in our past because that is what makes up our humanity. We learn from these mistakes so that “history” does not repeat itself again in the future for the sake of progress and betterment of the world. In addition to this, there needs to be more focus on learning about “world” history from the start because it helps to become more aware and accepting of other cultures, bridging the gaps between cultural differences, enforcing the unification of people no matter the differences.

  17. In the United States, history is often taught in a Western-centric manner. In grade school, most history is about the United States or Europe, neglecting history everywhere else in the world. However, in my sophomore year of high school, I had the opportunity to take AP World History, which attempted to cover 10,000 years of human history in one academic school year. Granted the quantity of history, our teacher explained that the course only taught a little bit about a lot. Overall, I am satisfied with the curriculum because we mainly focused on Asian, South American, Middle Eastern, and African history ( United States history and European history were intended for APUSH and AP Euro, respectively). The course highlighted the main ideas and themes in world history. The limitation of AP World is that there was not enough time to focus on a specific topic and explain nuances and complications. For what the course was, I think it did what it was designed to do. Since I took the class, the College Board has split AP World history into two different classes so that teachers could go into greater depth on each topic. I think this is a step in the right direction because it provides high schoolers with a better understanding of world history. I still think American schools should have a greater emphasis on world history before high school. I propose that an overview of world history is taught at a younger age, such as in middle school and elementary school, and that high school can go further into depth with content.

  18. One thing I would like to change about how history is taught, is who is telling the story. When first world countries teach history, they emphasize all the good they have done for their country and other counties. I have learned about the United States and her allies and all the good that the U.S did to stop the spread of communism. What you don’t hear is all the bad things that the United States, and other first world countries, do as well. More often than not, no one tells the story of how U.S invasion has destabilized economies or leads to the deaths of thousands of people. Because first world countries get the upper hand when it comes to writing these stories, they get the chance to control the narrative. By getting more voices and stories of people from all over the world, history will not have any biases and everyone will have a voice in shaping our future. If history truly does repeat itself, we should strive to prevent the same errors of yesterday. We should strive to properly educate the people of tomorrow.

  19. Contrary to the flawed American education system, I think world history should be taught in a manner that is raw and unconcealed. Throughout elementary school and even early middle school, my classmates and I were taught history in a way where America is seen as the superior and faultless nation. After learning the harsh truth about American history and the corrupt American education system, it made me ashamed to be an American; if our country can’t teach the wholehearted truth to its naive, mentally undeveloped students, why is it making every effort to uphold a positive reputation? An education system should not focus on patriotism or reputation, but rather the full and honest history of its country. This way, history won’t be seen as an entity of the far past, but a possibility of the near future. Teaching students the discomforting and uneasy historical facts is the only way that we can catalyze any form of change within the world, avoiding the repetition of history as we have seen thus far.

  20. History classes generally repaint the image of the past to one generation after another, but history should not be simply taught as a set of events that happened in the past. History is not understood if students can only recall the dates and locations of a movement, but not the reason why it took place and the impact it imposed. Beyond the historical event itself, history should be taught in a way that students are able to connect the past to current day circumstances, and realize that history is repeating itself in this exact moment but in a modern form. The rise of Asian hate crimes due to COVID-19 reiterates the oppression of Jews during the Black Death, emphasizing society’s habit of shifting blame onto minority groups in times of uncertainty. Meanwhile the use of religion to legitimize political power still influences political actions today; American nationalism takes pride in the U.S. government being democratic, thereby justifying the government’s use of force against other nations for the purpose of spreading democracy. History should therefore be studied to improve modern-day society rather than to be merely reviewed as a gallery of the past.

  21. For the future, I hope that a nationwide curriculum of events from the perspective of all sides is established. One major issue in the education system is the lack of perspective when teaching history. From my entire childhood, I learned about America’s history from the lens of a straight white man. This only tells me part of the story and neglects to recognize many other crucial points of view from those such as African Americans or Women. I also believe that many states will choose what to include in their curriculum and will purposely leave out information that makes them “look bad.” History has become a very biased field in the United States education system, which is ironic because history is literally the learning and teaching of facts. Somehow the actual events that occurred in history are being distorted to match the narrative that the US or the state wants to tell, which does a disservice to the citizens being fed this information. Students are not accurately informed on what has occurred in this nation (US) and the world, which causes them to be less than perfect citizens in the future regarding topics like racism, homophobia, corruption, socialism/communism, etc. Another large issue is the lack of accessibility to accurate information. A student can go there entire childhood life without knowing the truth about events like Christopher Columbus or the slave trade. It’s only until higher education when they finally see US history in its transparency. But, higher education is not something that everyone can access or that everyone wants. To me, it’s unacceptable that general and accurate information about our nation can mostly only be found in *expensive* higher education institutions. Wouldn’t it make more sense to provide everyone with accurate historical details so they can make proper and educated decisions as citizens? I hope that in the future, history education and an accurate curriculum are prioritized so that all students can be more informed citizens who can make knowledgeable decisions that will better the country as a whole.

  22. World History should be taught just as that, WORLD history. History taught in primary and sometimes even into high school lacks the global perspective that is necessary when teaching history. History needs to be taught as it happened, there should be nothing left to be wondered when it comes to history, the past should be studied as what really happened.

    In the West, it has become far too common to idolize western explorers, philosophers, and leaders for their acts, when in truth they are less deserving of our admiration as they come off to be. These figures, like all figures in my opinion, should be examined holistically, when studying history one can never overlook anything. Overlooking a certain opinion, or even just one letter written by a historical figure would amount to teaching students a false history. I have learned through this semester that unless we know all of the truth of what happened, we know none of it. As cynical as it sounds, history must be looked at for exactly what it was. Being so, people who were once idolized may look villainous to us, but every perspective has to be taken into account.

    We, as scholars, need to look at the whole world when studying history. I learned about an African philosopher the other day that had more progressive ideas than all the Enlightenment thinkers combined years before they picked up a pen. This is what needs to change about the way we teach history. We need to learn ALL of it.

  23. In my experience, teachers taught history in a very straightforward, clear-cut way. The main goal consisted of following the outline of necessary material to be covered before the final exam. No extra discussions were really allowed, and no outside opinions were brought in –– at least, until a later stage in high school. Additionally, being an American student, the required courses were very localized to American history and the American social life. There is not one singular, universal experience shared among every human that grazed the Earth. Therefore, history should not be taught as such.
    We learned the importance of being able to study critical Enlightenment philosophy while understanding the problematic viewpoints of those very Enlightenment thinkers. Holding historical figures accountable for their poor actions and showing how certain ideas can be damaging to other groups is an extremely important concept for students to learn much younger than they are. Especially in such a politically charged and (more) conscious society we are facing today.
    Yuval Harari explained how the Western world, specifically Europeans, were able to dominate the global economy, societal
    norms, and essentially the whole of history. However, despite the Europeans being able to do this with their explorative fervor, there should be more emphasis on the Eastern world and other cultures in common curriculum. Focusing on one avenue of history is inherently selfish and harmful towards students. It creates unintended narrow-mindedness and ignorance, and all aspects of history should be covered to some degree to decrease this possibility.

  24. Explaining the history to students can be a complicated topic. Most of the teachers and historians teach history through books, articles, magazines, newspapers, and other primary resources. Although this can be a good way of describing the history itself, it brings up an important question: Will students remember the history through books, articles, magazines..etc? Will students hold on to this history for the rest of their lives? The whole point of history is for students/people to REMEMBER/LEARN what happened back in time. However, I don’t think it is easy for students, especially those that are young, to remember all these complicated historical events through writing and listening. I believe that for students to remember history for a long period, they should see it and experience it for themselves. I think having more trips to places like the museum and historical places can truly open the eyes of the students and allow them to hold on to the history more personally and realistically. I still remember the field trip to the Korean baseball museum in Jeju- Island and learning about the history of Korean Baseball. This was 12 years ago, but I still clearly remember the pictures and learning about the history of Korean baseball.

  25. History is too complex for it to be taught in non bias perspective. I remember being told in my first high school world history class that “history is told in the eyes of the winners.” I don’t know if that is necessarily true but in my experience American education has centered its curriculum around a Eurocentric and Western view. It would be difficult to teach students different perspective for multiple reasons. In order to dismantle the Western perspective of history, we would also have to acknowledge how Western society reinforces the Eurocentric view. Not only is history given in that perspective, but so is society in which it prides itself in America’s success. Teaching a different perspective from the one that glorifies Western achievements would conflict with society’s portrayal of Western countries especially the United States.

    Younger generations are now exposed to different perspectives. These perspectives are less Eurocentric but still bias in a way. I think that history can never really be taught in an unbiased way. If individuals were to be exposed to these ideas there would be lack of trust and faith in their societies and countries that they usually would be prideful of. As individuals of a society we need to be able to trust and cooperate with each other despite the harmful past. This is evident in the current way history is taught. Discourse around how history should be taught would not occur if we didn’t acknowledge the shame of the destruction of humanity in history. However, we also acknowledge the positives of history and its achievements that have built our world today. We are taught about the negatives and positives to hopefully prevent and avoid the impact done in the past.

    Even though my view is quite pessimistic, it is unavoidable. We should continue to incorporate less bias portrayal of history through constantly discussing not only the past but the present perspective of the world. We live in a Eurocentric dominated world and we can’t escape that biased view unless history is told in the eyes of a different winner.

  26. Teaching students to have personal views on historical events is important, as now our education system focus on delivering important facts to students. I understand that forming a sense of historical events is the prerequisite for students to establish their personal views, but we should leave more space for students to explain their version of history. As time goes on, students may not able to remember all the historical facts, but they will have the ability to think on their own.

    Why is it important to be able to form a personal opinion on historical events? Because it ensures your right as a citizen, and not to be dictated by history and government. When people lose their ability to comment on important historical events, they will be easily controlled by government. People should respect history, but they are also creating history. Thus, forming personal opinions will help people stay on the right track.

  27. In order to properly teach history, we first have to stop romanticizing it. So long as the history that we teach our children is one of heroes and villains, of white saviors, and a world full of savages, it’s not being taught correctly. We live in a world where Europeans are historically the “winners,” where western ideals and philosophies are taught as though they’re correct. A version of history where the European perspective is the only one truly being taken into account isn’t fair to the hundreds of cultures and ethnic groups with a meaningful history that we’re ignoring.

    I was fortunate to grow up in a liberal area with access to great public education, and even more fortunate to have a dual language education. So between lessons in English on the American Revolution, in Spanish class, we were learning about the Aztec, the Inca, and the Maayan civilizations. We learned about the beauty and the horrors of history in the Americas, but even that wasn’t enough, because it was only the America’s. I didn’t learn a ton about the rest of the world until high school when my AP World class would do single lectures on fascinating and historically significant topics, that would leave me in awe for the day before we moved on to the next one.

    There’s no perfect way to teach history, because of how deeply interwoven it is. Societies are connected to one another, and their development hinges on their relationships with other societies, especially in the last millennia. Moving forward, history must be taught with as little western bias as possible, with focuses on regions of the world and civilizations that the west often overlooks.

  28. Teaching the history of the entire world is always going to be an extremely challenging feat no matter what approach is taken. Despite this, I still believe that some steps can be taken to attempt to teach the subject in a more effective way. One way to start may be to always teach history with the precaution of the potential of misinformation or lacking knowledge. It is essential that teachers cover every possible angle of an event that they are teaching to avoid bias, but if records have not been written thoroughly under certain perspectives, the teachers should mention this. They can explain how these other groups of people also experienced this event but left no written records, without guessing or assuming what that group’s reaction to the experience would have been. Additionally, another essential aspect of teaching history is presenting the harsh realities of past mistakes to children at a young age, such as racism and sexism. By doing this, it will start children off on the right foot earlier on. Although these immoral beliefs may have been part of the culture at certain points in history, it is important to emphasize that it is not excusable to cement the idea that racism and sexism are not acceptable under any conditions. In terms of covering topics, it is impossible to talk about every single event that has happened in all of history but it is crucial that the coverage of events be spaced out according to not only their significance on the modern-day but also where they occurred. History is taught so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes but it is also taught to teach us about the perspectives and experiences of cultures other than our own, which currently isn’t occurring to its fullest potential. As Immanuel Kant discussed in his piece “What is Enlightenment” and Plato explained in his “Allegory of the Cave,” it is important to break out of your shell and learn as much as you can in order to be truly enlightened, therefore history should involve as many cultures and perspectives as possible.

  29. Learning needs to become less rigid, and more inclusive. In America, history is taught through a patriotic lens. We learn mainly about Americas success stories, whether it be on our own soil or abroad. World history is limited to Americas involvement in a certain country. This should not be the case. History should be taught through unbiased sources, that allow students to come to their own conclusions about a country. Instead of focusing mainly on American and European history, classes should delve into the rich pasts of Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Indigenous communities. So called historical heroes should be taught in a way for students to recognize their many faults as well as their victories.

    When it comes to learning the history behind other races, genders, sexual preferences, and religions, we tend to only focus on the tragic sides of their histories. While that side of history is important and necessary, I think that the accomplishments of these discourse communities should be taught as well. Learning only the bad parts of a history can make it appear that none of these groups had success stories of their own.

  30. Throughout what I’ve learned in these classes, I have discovered so many new perspectives on the major events in world history. I think that these new perspectives have expanded and enlightened my own, allowing me to further understand the world and how it has been shaped by various societies. In the future, it would benefit our education if world history didn’t just focus on one area, especially during High School. With a focus on multiple different nations and communities, instead of just one- such as Europe or Asia- history can be understood in a more whole and rounded fashion.

  31. From the earliest memories of social studies class to advanced placement history classes, education systems expect students to learn history in a rigid and chronological structure of essential leaders and dates. The majority of the time, we are introduced to idolize these individuals for granting liberty to the United States. We are also expected to worship the country we live in. These curriculums hardly comprise discussions concerning these leaders’ successes and criticisms of their morals behind their actions. Educators display history in a straightforward method consisting of exams and the memorization of important dates and names. There is never a question of what makes a name worth idolizing in textbooks and classrooms. Individuals like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were given the spotlight in U.S history for achieving equal rights and arguing against slavery. When society gives them such golden characteristics, we grow up believing they are superior and the father figures of America. However, there is a significant flaw in this method of covering history and its multiple aspects.

    History holds various vital lessons where one is supposed to learn from past mistakes. Yet when we are given the tweaked and artificial version of history, how are we supposed to incorporate aspects of history into our lives and learn from it?

    To better comprehend milestones in history and the motives behind them, we must study various viewpoints. Rather than accepting the given facts in textbooks, scholars should have the space to build their own opinion on a historical figure by exploring the different perspectives. By taking a look at enlightenment thinkers in our rhetoric and social sciences courses, we have seen how significant it is to dig into natural history and learn it for what it is. We have realized that individuals like Thomas Jefferson were not the legends teachers taught them to be as they supported certain acts of oppression. Along with incorporating multiple points of view, I believe it is crucial to study the oppressed rather than the oppressors. This semester, we have looked at pieces of articles written by enslaved African Americans and women and grasped the consequences in which they lived. Altogether, by incorporating various sources into our journey of re-learning history, we can re-write years of tweaked history into only the truth and acknowledge historical figures that U.S history does not mention as often as it should.

  32. World History can be very overwhelming, is just too much information to process at once even for college students. From personal experience, I can say that what worked for me in high school is to break down the content down, identify where and when certain events took place, who was involved, and the two most important questions when examining history: What caused it, why? and What effects did it had or what changed or did not as a result? I think if we try to answer these questions and then we acknowledge how most of these events were interconnected to each other we will get a better grasp of what history is. But for this to be effective it is very important for history to be examined from multiple perspectives, it is always useful to hear both sides of the story to get closer to the truth. I guess my suggestion for the future would be to make sure you address the relevance of history at the time it happened and how or why it still matters today and as a plus it is always nice when the content is covered in multiple classes to get those different perspectives of the story.

  33. From my own experience with learning history, one of the biggest questions I used to have was what is the point of studying history and why we study someone who already died a long time ago while I am overwhelmed with my life. However, now whenever I get to know more about a historical figure, I am always amazed by their life stories and fascinated with the idea that they were all once vividly alive during their times. They had their problems like I have mine when they were young. They had fallen in love or out of love like us. Like we learned about Phillis Wheatley, maybe instead of just remembering her bibliography, we should also remember she was a human just like us. Although it was hard to imagine what she was like without a photo or video of her, her poems have survived and allowed us to take a peek into her mind so that we felt sympathetic to her as an enslaved woman. Therefore, I suggest that history should not be taught by solely listing events or demonstrating the timeline when we can search up all the information online. Instead, we should teach history by exploring different historical figures, which is similar to what we do for research papers. I believe we can learn a lot of the characteristics of a period by just digging up the life of one figure during that time. Instead of just reading textbooks or other secondary sources, we should build a personal connection with them by looking at their own writings, artworks, or music. Thus, we can study the history of a certain period effectively, and more importantly, gain life experiences from them.

  34. In the future I propose that history be taught through interactive activities that involve the students with the material rather than having us memorize the material from textbooks. I suggest having more discussion or debate centered classes where the students can learn from the interpretations of others to get a better understanding of the material from different perspectives and gain a more holistic view. I think that BU already does a good job at this such that we have alternating lecture and discussion classes; however to improve, I think that we should focus on more topics that tie in to relevant topics that we deal with today that we can relate to create more engaging discussions.

  35. I think history is definitely a difficult topic to teach. Not in the sense that the topic is difficult to understand, but rather the breadth and depth of history spans so wide and far. We will never truly be able to understand and analyze the minute details and intricacies that happen within history, and furthermore, lecturing about history often isn’t effective either as many students tend to zone out in dreary topics. Therefore, what can teachers do to tackle these issues? Well, it depends. I think history is one of those topics where there is no correct way to be taught. Rather we need to teach it by teaching the students to form thoughts and opinions on historical content. History will always be made but what’s important is learning how to take something away from it.

  36. History should be objective rather than subjective or used to serve for political and economic purposes. This requires people to view the world history for different perspectives. In order to learn an intact, authentic, and detailed history, one needs to gather information from various sources of information. Prejudiced history will mislead the readers, and they are very likely to be used or manipulated by malicious people who spread these pieces of information. However, in reality, most of the history is not perfectly actual. Information provider will hide part of the truth more or less in order to their purposes. It is quite disappointing for me to find out that some of the history textbook in China are serving a political objective. This actually shapes and misleads many people who do not have the opportunity to get access with the intact history. People may grow up with learning the prejudiced history and their view toward others will not be fair. I believe this is one of the main reasons why extreme patriots are formed.

  37. Last year I interviewed a woman named Elly Sicilianou, a former teacher of history and a writer. Mrs Sicilianou is currently 103 years old, but is still very active and continues her personal writing work. What impressed me about her was her passion, the color of her voice, and the movements of her hands when she was talking about the past like it was the present. She told me her whole life story, like how she experienced the Greek coup d’etat, and I could picture it all in my head. When I asked her about her profession as a history teacher, she replied to me: “anyone going into this profession must keep in mind that they are not just ordinary people, since teachers have the opportunity and power to develop personalities.”

    From my experience, history is a key to understanding human nature. It is not just the past, and for me, it should not be taught this way. From history, not only can we learn more about different cultures and people, but we can also delve into the mistakes of the past and provide better solutions for the future. As many great people have noted, history does repeat itself. The readings in class have also made me realize how important it is to teach history in a chronological order, in which case that becomes even clearer. However, there is nothing more fascinating than being able to imagine or be a part of what you read.

  38. I think history should be taught from various perspectives and based on reality. History, the study of past events, depends on what survives. Therefore, learning the same historical event from different perspectives allows the record to be preserved to the greatest extent. From my own experiences, I’ve found that the different countries teach historical events from perspectives that would avoid damaging the image of their country and leave out information that would make them appear bad. Just like Montaigne mentioned in the article “Of Cannibals,” he said, “ they gloss upon it, and to give the greater weight to what they deliver, and allure your belief, they cannot forbear a little to alter the story; they never represent things to you simply as they are, but rather as they appeared to them, or as they would have them appear to you, and to gain the reputation of men of judgment, and the better to induce your faith, are willing to help out the business with something more than is really true, of their own invention.” This quote shows that humans tend to tamper with realities for various reasons. But this action causes history to become flawed for future generations and cause confusion. There would be no point for students to study biased historical events. Therefore, in my opinion, history should be taught based on reality and from different perspectives in the future.

  39. We should definitely learn history through studying of different perspectives or schools of thought. For example, when I was learning Cold War in my high school, my history teacher taught us different schools of thought toward the occurrence of this war between the U.S.A and the USSR. Neither school of thought can explain why and how this war takes place. Only if we learn different scholars’ ideas, we could, however, approach to the truth as close as possible. From my point of view, it is impossible for people nowadays to know what happens and how things happen in the past. History is a story about people living in the past. We sometimes could even figure out what our classmates or friends are thinking when we talk to them face to face. So how could we know what people living in hundreds or thousands of years ago were thinking about? Learning history is like playing a puzzle. We try to put together all the pieces we have in order to see what the puzzle looks like. However, some pieces of the puzzle lost in the past. So for us, we could only see the general appearance of the puzzle. But we will never know what it looks like in a full image.

  40. Teaching world history is always a challenging thing. Theoretically, we would hope that history to be taught from an unbiased perspective. In reality, it’s difficult to effectively teach history if we solely follow the textbooks. Indeed, it’s important for us to understand the cause and effect of these historical events. They are not simply events that have already passed by, they are useful lessons for us to learn from and reflect on. Why did this event happen in history and how did it come to be are elements we need to focus on when learning history. By learning from the past, we could not only understand the process of history but also gaining perspectives on how could we improve our current society by drawing from past experiences.

  41. World history should be taught in several perspectives. As everything happened on this tiny earth, opinions differ between civilizations. For one hero, for another one the devil. We should teach history in an unbiased perspective, and examine each nation’s perspective as well. For a specific event, instead of criticizing emotionally, teachers should in an objective situation to examine the cause and effect, and the emotional impact, not emotional feedback on such things.

  42. Learning history can prove to be quite the challenge given how difficult it is for historians to summarize and present an impartial account of the past. Because of how often implicit biases go unchecked, many people put in the privileged position of outlining important events that have transpired, frankly, do a terrible job. This is a result of the fact that these historians are much more inclined to cover topics important or interesting to them more extensively. This includes covering significantly more information, for instance, about European colonists and their descendants rather than Native Americans and their descendants in a textbook on American history. However, the terminology used when detailing these historical events is also just as concerning, as oftentimes historians will directly express their opinion on the topics they cover. Due to lots of history being written by white European descendants, this can lead to inherently racist history books that idolize the racist ancestors of these authors, creating a cycle where those privileged enough to be writing history present themselves in the best light possible, and hardly ever acknowledge the inequality or injustice that goes hand in hand in this practice.

    While it might seem as though the logical solution to these problems is to examine completely objective accounts of history, I’d instead argue that we should study multiple accounts from varying perspectives. Growing up in the United States in a largely white city, I personally have had lots of exposure to Eurocentric accounts of history. Even within my CGS classes, we have studied Kant’s enlightenment, Shakespeare, Dante’s Inferno, Socrates, and the works of many other old white men, given we have also looked at female authors and authors of color. Still, the fact remains that many American educational systems prioritize the perspectives of the most privileged white men while not giving at least an equal amount of attention to those these white men have historically discriminated against. Only when those from all demographics are given the same platform to write their history, and only when these accounts are all given an equal amount of attention can we even begin to understand the full story.

  43. Instead of studying the history of a specific country and from that country’s perspective, I had a high school history course that focused on world history and human development as a whole, similar to the one we have here in CGS. It is definitely essential to examine history from a different nations’ point of view as one side would not tell the “whole” story either due to intentional bias or to the loss of documentations. Additionally, for most circumstances, the privileged or the triumphed group writes history, which is a major factor in causing bias in historical texts. History teachers should research other races, gender, and numerous ways in which humans distinguish themselves. Meanwhile, I think not only teachers should reflect upon themselves, but it is also important to address to students about their way of thinking. Under teachers’ guidance, students should develop skills in studying a piece of literature or history critically.

  44. In prior years of schooling, history has been taught to me primarily in the perspective of the United States. In elementary school, I learned about European figures like Magellan, Columbus, etc, but I never learned about their independent thoughts. Additionally, many of the prominent figures from the U.S. were more or less characterized by their successes and depicted as the country’s hero. In high school, I was taught in greater depths of specific events that I had learned in the past, but similar to elementary school, I was taught in the viewpoint of how the U.S. won the war and how the U.S. saved the day. Of course, there were some tragic events and not so good presidents to show that the U.S. had problems throughout history, but it mainly showed that the country had to surpass certain obstacles to get to where it is today.
    I think world history should be taught from the lens of multiple perspectives from the beginning. Instead of discussing about all the great things that Thomas Jefferson did, students should also be taught about the hypocritic nature in which he wanted all men created equal, but also had slaves of his own.

  45. History is often taught in American classrooms as a celebration of American exceptionalism, focusing on accomplishments and the constant wheel of progress ever-turning. In my experience, it is very rare that history teachers ever discuss the suffering and repression of society that America has perpetuated throughout the course of history. In order to teach students history in a comprehensive way and to allow them to fully understand the complex, gray subject of history, it is necessary to share perspectives of world events from many sides. History also should never be taught in a harsh, black-and-white manner. Discussion should always be encouraged, so that people can share their opinions and ideas about how historical events have shaped our world and society. Where one student or teacher might suggest that America was a successful experiment in democracy that positively changed the world for good, another student might want to offer that America committed wretched crimes against humanity through slavery and unjust warfare. Both of these perspectives should be heard and considered so that all other students, and sometimes even the teacher, can be exposed to ideas that strongly differ or contradict their own about the legacy of their nation.

    History is composed of stories created by victors, and the “losers” of history rarely get their voices heard. Additionally, prominent figures in history are often considered almost mythical figures, as deeply powerful, vastly intelligent men who created empires out of dirt or freedom out of toil. But I believe that most of us, particularly people with ancestors who didn’t get to feel freedom or prosperity in their lives, understand now that the gods of history were simply flawed, bigoted, often vicious men who created worlds that worked for them, and them only. History should be taught in a way that highlights this unsettling contradiction, like how in Social Science we learned about both the contributions to equality and freedom that Jefferson espoused, but also about his sickening and cruel racism. This allowed all of us to truly understand the context of this man who’s almost worshipped by some Americans, and to “celebrate” his ideas in a way that also allowed us to feel righteous anger and disgust at his bigotry and hatred. In my opinion, this is the best way to learn about history. History is a dark, bloody, and convoluted mess of a story that also brought increased wellbeing, beauty, and innovation to the world, and this innate contradictory nature of the subject should be accentuated and appreciated in class, not hidden or repressed to paint history in a better light.

  46. World history is definitely a dense subject that cannot be just taught through a series of textbooks and PowerPoint slides. I believe that students being taught history indoors and just through books is such an ineffective way of really understanding the significance of certain events. The visual learners of the world can also appreciate the idea of tangible teaching tools over reading. Regardless, all students will gain more appreciation for history when they see parts of it in person. When you rely on textbooks alone for teaching history, it can be hard for students to visualize what has happened. However, when students see pieces of history up close it’s no longer something they just read about and it becomes more appreciable.

  47. In school, most student are usually taught history as a chronological set of various eras, whether it be the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance, etc. This can present a number of problems. One such is trying to draw lines between short periods of time. People from one period would have considered themselves quite similar to people from the previous one, not to mention these eras are almost always coined many years or even decades after the fact. Oppositely, another such problem created is eras that are too long, trying to group many centuries of time into simply the Middle Ages or Roman history, ignoring many factors that might separate someone at the start of the Middle Ages from someone at the end such as technology, language, or culture. Some of the problems I’ve described have lead many historical scholars to argue where these lines should be drawn and how many, however I think the better solution is to simply have no lines at all — to not look at history as a series of distinct eras with fixed start and end dates but instead one continuous length. Focus on study, then, should be on the various new ideas and technologies as well as various overall influential historical figures — a focus on how people affected the societies of their time rather than how people were affected by the time they were in, which can get too much attention.

  48. Education is used to teach a view, rather than the actual, full truth of history. I can only speak to American education, as an American student, but as I’ve grown and developed my own opinions on things separate from what my teachers and parents tell me, I have identified more and more things from my childhood as straight up propaganda. America emphasizes 9/11 any time it gets the chance; there was 3(!) memorials or murals at my school. We emphasize the heroism of our veterans, the tragedy of the loss of American life in war, the kids who’s brothers were deployed to the Middle East were taken on stage and honored during memorial day services. Our culture and education are built around justifying the war machine, whether or not that follows the facts. As it turns out, it doesn’t, so the facts are changed accordingly to play nicely with the war machine. I don’t know how you fix it other than by completely rebuilding the educational system from the ground up, with an emphasis on general knowledge accepted by the whole world, rather than just the US.

  49. History taught throughout the years of my education was generally very focused through a Western perspective. Many important events that have happened across the globe were never acknowledged in class. Furthermore, important figures such as Thomas Jefferson or Christopher Columbus were all praised for their accomplishments, however there was never a moment where we acknowledged their problematic views. Especially with elementary school, some students were grown up listening to only approval for the figures, never knowing how Jefferson owned slaves or how Columbus completely destroyed indigenous people’s homes and lives. Because children are raised being taught one side of history, they are ignorant to the dark and complicated issues that are intentionally unaddressed.

    As we learned from Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” by being exposed to only certain information in history, we are shackled by chains of ignorance and believe that the Western perspective of the world is the truth. Of course, it is extremely difficult to be educated on every country’s culture and history, however, it should be the bare minimum to look through an unbiased view and not a European one.

  50. As the (perhaps overused) quote goes, “those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.” This sentiment has been circulated and revisited so many times because there is a very unmissable element of truth behind it. However, these half-truth’s, or studies of history that shy away from the unfortunate racist and bigoted side, do not do history justice. Is a student really learning history if their teacher is purposefully holding out information? Furthermore, we must consider why some are trying so hard hide these ugly truths, is it for fear that it may paint their country or scholarly idol in a bad light? What would make learning in America a lot more wholistic is transparency. All facts should be presented, and then students should have a chance to form an opinion on the events or people being taught. By always teaching the good or untainted parts of history first, and mentioning a person’s racist or ableist tendencies as an afterthought, there is an inherent bias in the way the information is presented. There needs to be an end to teaching history with an agenda, or a goal of influencing a student’s outlook on the world in a specific way. This is evident in America today, even in the way that students are taught the happenings of the Civil War differently, depending on whether they live in the North or South. By stopping this practice and teaching students facts that they can use to form their own opinion, we are not only encouraging critical thinking, but also contributing to a more well informed general public in the future.

  51. History should be taught in many perspectives since history is often created with the involvement of many different peoples and cultures. Students would not get the whole history if only the Western perspective is taught and the same thing goes for if the Western perspective is omitted from curriculums. In my experience, heavy emphasis is placed on the “dominant” culture and/or civilization and not so much on the minority. For example, when discussing European colonization, plenty emphasis is placed on the methods, prominent figures, and impact on the colonizing nation while it is just briefly mentioned that natives were enslaved, slaughtered, or died out and that millions of Africans as a result had to be imported and forced into slavery.

    As a result, the “bad”, dark, and questionable moments as well as the perspectives of the minorities should be highlighted and taught more in classes. During this semester, for example, we learned about European colonization and its impacts on Europe BUT we also we exposed to the detrimental and harmful impacts it had on the peoples being colonized and exploited as well criticized these nations. We were also educated about the very prevalent social injustices among people, specifically racism, as racism is not really highlighted in curriculums for more basic/classes for younger students when it should be.

  52. I think it’s so interesting how the same events in history, as history doesn’t change, can be explored and interpreted in so many different ways. I think that in high school, especially in AP history classes, learning history was all about memorizing different time periods. It was extremely straightforward, too straightforward. We often only learned about one side of history, and classified long periods of times into a couple key ideas or takeaways, as if those ideas were the only important things that happened in that time. I think about the time we’re living in now, and in the future how history textbooks might take this time and mark it “the age of COVID-19,” glancing over zoom fatigue, its legacy, how it’s impacted our generations mentally, watering it down to “a time where everyone wore masks.” I think that history should be much more multifaceted, looking at the legacy of historical events, big or small, how individuals thought. I like that our curriculum teaches history through the ideas and beliefs people held in different time periods.

  53. In the future, I think history needs to be taught from many different perspectives in order to prevent biases from occurring in the presentation of information. There are too many times when I read into the history of prominent figures or civilizations, and the information seems whitewashed and completely skewed to one perspective. It would definitely be beneficial to read into history from multiple lenses to elimiminate any biases and see how events were perceived from different groups of people. This is similarly the case in history textbooks in the United States, as they definitely glorify and justify white America for being great, even when highlighting the many horrifying periods of history. Popular white American figures are overly celebrated, even when their achievements may not even compare to someone of another race.

  54. In the future, I believe history should be taught primarily based on primary sources. Like what Michel de Montaigne emphasized in the Of Cannibals, “By which it appears how cautious men ought to be of taking things upon trust from vulgar opinion, and that we are to judge by the eye of reason, and not from common report.” It is human nature and common custom to trust the “vulgar opinion”, despite its correctness and objectivity; Students tend to have more trust in the information and opinions taught by the authorities. However, the habit of developing your ideas and personal values based upon others’ thoughts will not only resist student’s ability to think but also lead them to be overly dependent on help from others.

  55. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. The phrase says that we must learn our history, the good, the bad, and the ugly, because if we don’t we are doomed to repeat it. Learning history is not just about memorizing facts, dates, and events, it’s about critically thinking about and understanding the causes and consequences of such events. Throughout my 12 years in normal public school, history class had always been taught to me through a Western, Eurocentric perspective with the voice always being of the privileged and triumphant Here at BU I was excited to be talking about the same events I’d previously been taught through new perspectives. The professors are adamant about providing a well-rounded view of history focusing not only on the achievements but also the short-comings. Teaching history through a wide variety of perspectives gives a more accurate and absolute understanding of events and the consequences of such events. It is crucial to hear the perspective of the oppressed and the persecuted because if we only learn history through the perspective of the privileged victor, we lose out on really grasping the effects of historical events.

  56. In my years of education, I have realized that history has often been boiled down to one perspective in which history is good or it is bad. These black and white notions of history provide an inaccurate and biased reality when history itself exists in shades of grade. By learning this way students are often told how to think repressing their ability to come to their own conclusions. I think history should be taught by providing a multitude of sources with different beliefs and allowing students to come to their own conclusions with the information available to them. Teaching students pivotal moments and also minuscule historical details allow for students to not only be more well-rounded but to appreciate the history. I personally think our curriculum in SS does a great job of pushing us to think for ourselves.

  57. In the future, I think we should concentrate on studying different countries’s culture. In my opinion, the misunderstanding would cause conflicts. Also, I think from an Eastern angle, studying history is also important. For example, I study history in China from elementary school. For the same thing, the European and the Asia had different perspectives. The Chinese hardly mentioned human rights in history. Also, the way of talking about the max is totally different from the knowledge I studied this semester.

  58. Learning through the CGS program has really taught me the importance of perspective. I had come from a very traditional educational background which stuck to textbooks and fact based tests. When I came into CGS at first it was quite overwhelming to have a completely new learning style. Yet as time went on I really began to understand and embrace this new way of learning. Looking at one area of time through multiple perspectives proved to be extremely valuable in internalizing what I was learning. It allowed me to learn about different aspects of one topic; deepening my understanding. I believe that this technique is very important for teaching future generations as it shows that history is not determined by one perspective, one lense of study, or one population of people.

  59. With the way history is so intricate, I believe that retelling of stories would be the best way for world history to be taught in the future. Throughout the entire curriculum, my perspective of world history has definitely expanded and I felt that a unique way to learn all of these new perspectives is by learning the people’s own story and how they experienced things. To add on to that, I feel like the best way for us to learn world history would be through storytelling.Through personal experience, I felt that stories are the best way for information to connect to my brain as I was able to connect more with those stories. Stories have a more personal touch that many people can contact, or retell the story to have it connect to themselves.

  60. The way the CGS program is built is that we’re given very similar information through different outlets, which in turn have slightly different interpretations. Each professor interprets a work of literature differently, or has a different perspective on past historical events. And when you’re learning from multiple sources like the way CGS students have been learning this semester, knowledge retention is increased, and there’s also a more analytical approach to learning the knowledge. The way history is taught is usually just from one lens and one perspective, and that decreases the effectiveness of learning it. In the future, history classes should incorporate more perspectives, and different analytical approaches in order to maximize learning.

  61. I think learning about world history from just the Western perspective of the world is really limiting. I understand that all of the world’s history cannot be taught in just a couple weeks, but it gives students a narrow-minded outlook and European superiority complex if we ignore lessons about the East, the Native Indigenous peoples, and the Latin world.

    However, I do think the course is being taught extremely well. The lesson plans and reading are engaging. I loved Sapiens, and I think that writing essays that push us to delve deeper as opposed to the normal memorization and testing format was effective in trying to conceptualize how knowledge of history is essential for answering present day concerns. Furthermore, the discussions in Professor Rhodes’ class are organized thoughtfully, allowing us to break down the readings and learn from other students who share as well.

  62. I propose that in the future, world history should be taught from an ethnocentric standard, not a eurocentric standard. I think that teaching from different perspectives needs to also involve the ability to judge the evidence. This will allow students exposure to analyze evidence and come to their own conclusions. Seeing history through their own eyes will help develop a strong sense of being committed to America and develop a strong sense of nationalism. This could be achieved through debates, museum visits, role-play, etc.

  63. Something I wish would be common practice in future history classes would be the raw truth of history starting at youth. The idealization of historical figures and time periods of our past set our future up for the worst. As we have seen, there have been so many divisions between citizens within the U.S. over figures and documents from our past that have been constantly drilled into our heads to be idealized and seen as heros rather than humans that have had many faults, have made many mistakes, and have fueled discrimination and violent towards certain groups of people. This great divide we have within our own country reflects majorly from the way we are taught history within our country, and the sheer nationalism we see is the puppet of historical white-washing and egotism of our past. If we can make an end to that by presenting multiple perspectives of historical events and figures of the past to the youth, people can grow up with open-mindedness and a willingness to converse and grow and create a bond between one another rather than division.

  64. I strongly propose to teach not only European and American history but also other parts of the world. I think it would be very beneficial to students from different cultural backgrounds to know each others’ countries’ history. Though BU has already had the history and the prospect of exploring diversity in various aspects, it would be even more ideal for including more continents into the history classes. Due to the time limit, the course content could vary each semester to keep progress. History classes can be more modern related, which means that history can be taught from an inversed chronological sequence. Students might be well aware of the news, and the class will further develop into the account of certain countries where the news occurs. Professors could also consider combining different media of teachings and assignments into the history class.

  65. History needs to be taught in an objective matter that does not seek to elect nations as heroes and villains, but rather as opposing states trying elevate themselves and ensure their survival no matter what the cost. We need to be less biased in our telling of history as to not sugarcoat crimes and as to push a nationalist agenda within our respective countries.

  66. The way history is taught now has limited the perspective and knowledge that we get out of it. After taking 2 CGS classes this semester, I have learned the importance of how history is taught. Throughout high school in every history class I have taken, it was taught from one perspective. It only showed one side of history, which is not the way it should be taught in the future. Learning about one time period through multiple perspectives will be very insightful for the future of teaching history. The way that this course was taught helped me learn more about historical events and historical figures, which will stick with me for longer. We should approach teaching history with the mindset of integrating all elements rather than the western perspective that is typically taught.

  67. World history, and history in general, needs to be a better encompassing image. With real human experiences, humanizing history will paint a better picture of the truth. When using evidence, sources become useless when it’s only one sided. There is something extremely crucial and powerful in teaching history neutrally. Allowing for history to be seen through individual eyes, we will be able to promote free thinking according to the American standard. We need to encourage holistic learning and understanding in order to grow as a society.

  68. In the future, I wish history is taught without biased. There is a famous quote saying that history was written by the winning side of history. However, this keeps us from the truth. We are not able to know the truth behind the distortion. I think history should only teach people things with clear proof. Such as, the historical facts were proved by artifacts and buildings. Things cannot be able to easily distorted.

  69. I think when teaching history, students should be given enough space to express their views and ideas on historical events. Some teachers often blindly transfer information, sometimes mixed with their own ideas. Although history is a very serious matter, I think it is more important to give students enough time to think independently, which is a kind of enlightenment education.

  70. I believe that world history should be taught in the future through constantly sharing personal stories, depictions of the raw state of living at a certain time. This is the best way to pull students in, for there is an emotive basis and allow people to understand historical times better.
    I also believe empathizing new ideas that developed over time and changes in how people believed is essential in teaching history accurately and truthfully. Based on how I was previously taught, there was sometimes an over emphasis on dates and times in history, rather than understanding the roots of how humans act today. These ideas should also be presented as unbiased as possible, and opposing views and important figures who developed or challenged these ideas is important so that students are able to take in the information and develop their own personal beliefs. History can not be taught without accepting the fact that everyone will acknowledge pieces of information differently, and that through having these slightly opposing views, we make history richer by making it more accepting of everyone and their unique backgrounds.

  71. Often times, I believe that history is taught too broadly. Throughout the years I have frequently found myself thinking that my classes could have learned about certain time periods in much more detail than we actually did. Instead of merely touching on specific points in history in order to cover long spans of time, I feel as though covering shorter time periods in more vivid detail would be more useful to most students. We would end up becoming extremely familiar with the historical events that we learn about, instead of becoming familiar with only a few basic facts about each era. If history classes were designed to cover shorter amounts of time but go into more detail, students would become experts in relation to that era or timeframe.

  72. In the world history classes I took in high school, my teachers focused mostly on European and American history from a American point-of-view. While we did learn about African and Asian history, the classes didn’t spend as much time on them. I think many history classes in the US are taught in a similar way. I would suggest that the classes cover more of African and Asian history and be taught without bias. However, I think it would be interesting to see how other countries taught European and American history compared to how the US taught us about it.
    I also noticed that teachers in my high school history classes tend to divide the course by the continent and in sections. We would learn about European history and move on to African and Asian history instead of learning about what was happening in both continents at the same time. It would be interesting to learn about what was happening in Asia during the Renaissance in Europe, for example. While it might seem like a disorganized way of teaching, I think it would be easier way to learn world history and to compare and contrast the art and culture in those regions.

  73. I have taken numerous history classes, both in high school and college. Some of the classes have been Advanced Placement classes, meaning the curriculums have been set by the College Board. While writing this, I have been thinking of the biases of some of our instructors in teaching history. One of our AP History teachers specifically, did not condemn the Civil War per se. The textbook we used, while written from a “Northern” perspective, also did not condemn slaveholders as much. However, we did discuss Sally Hemmings for a while during class. AP European History was confusing because the teachers did not do a good job periodizing the events that we were speaking about. For example, he didn’t specifically explain what was happening in another country during the Glorious Revolution. Something I also realized is that sometimes teaching from an outside perspective isn’t always the best. Sometimes, like while teaching the Holocaust or slavery, condemnation must be made.

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