This Monday, July 23, I will begin hosting a teleconference lecture series for homeschooling parents and educators. I would like to invite anyone who is interested to learn why the quality of history teaching has continually declined since the early twentieth century, and why, as a result, children now almost universally complain that history is boring and irrelevant, to attend.
The dismal state of history today can be explained, ironically enough, by history.
A proper, critical analysis of the changing trends in the philosophy of history, which underpins and guides the activities of historians, shows how, during the nineteenth century, history ceased to be a science that instructs humankind through reasoned example, and was remade into two different, but equally flawed pursuits: 1) a “pure science”–whose investigations are divorced from any practical application, and 2) a weapon for propagandists, who wish to wield it solely for political purposes.
Homeschoolers and history teachers cannot afford to wade unknowingly into this ideological arena. They will either present their students with a body of knowledge, the significance of which they cannot validate, or fall prey to a slanted presentation whose aim is to inculcate values that they would not otherwise chose to transmit. In these approaches history does not serve its actual purpose, which is to demonstrate the causes and consequences of ideas in the world.
History can be a science. It can be an invaluable science. For that to happen, however, history has to be restored to its proper role in the education of young minds, and that requires an awareness among history providers–whether experts, or moms taking over for the experts who aren’t doing their job–of how things went wrong in the first place.
“The State of History” is the first installment of a monthly lecture series, courtesy of HistoryAtOurHouse. Interested parents, homeschool teachers, and educators can sign up by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information on the lecture series, including the sure-to-be-controversial ‘Lies a Liar Told Me About My Teacher!” (coming in August) can be found at: www.historyatourhouse.com/main/freeseminars.html.