It is important for children to begin learning about history from a young age. It gives them a better understanding of the world around them. Children learn how things in the past have allowed the world to become the way it is today.
History comes with lots of stories about people around the globe. It teaches us how these people faced challenges in the past and how they overcame them which affects the way we live life now. At Astor International School, the Year 4’s are currently learning about a historical civilisation, the ancient Egyptians, in the International Primary Curriculum unit, ‘Temples, Tombs and Treasure’.
Why is learning history necessary?
1. Children begin to understand chronology
Learning about historical events allows children to learn the order in which these events occurred. Putting these events in order allows them to see how they are all connected. For example, when learning about ancient Egypt, students in the Year 4 class learn the order of events which allowed the Egyptian to pass on their discoveries and inventions to the rest of the world. Chronology lets children understand cause and effect.
2. Children are aware of historical figures
There are numerous historical figures in the past who have made a huge impact. It is important for children to learn who these people are and how they affect the present world. There are people who have made positive and negative impacts on the world, such as Hitler, or Mahatma Gandhi. In the Year 4 class, children learn about Pharaohs who made an impact in ancient Egypt – such as King Tutankhamun and Cleopatra.
3. Children develop an understanding of the world
We learn how societies, systems, cultures and ideologies worked in the past through learning history. Developing children’s knowledge about how different civilisations and cultures started and grew allows them to understand the different countries and cultures in the world today. In Astor’s Year 4 class, students understand why the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are so well known by learning about ancient Egypt.
4. Allow children to be inspired
Historical figures and stories can be inspiring to individuals. History remembers brilliant people and the great heroic acts they have done to shape their nations. These figures are a good form of motivation for children and to instill values like determination and perseverance. At Astor International School, we celebrate International Women’s Day. Children learnt about the incredible women who made a change in history for women’s rights.
5. Children understand their identity
All over the world, countries and cultures have their own stories, folk tales and legends. These stories shape the way we all understand our country. Using history to look back at our country’s history allows children to learn about their own identity as well. Finding out who we are and where we come from is an important part of childhood. For example, children at Astor learn about Singapore’s history which allows them to learn about how people lived generations ago.
Studying history provides children the ability to become critical thinkers and allows them to have a more rounded academic skill set and personal identity – something that will last throughout their education and life. It is a valuable academic subject that all children should learn.