American Kids Aren't Learning History Anymore. Here's Why That's a Problem
It seems pretty obvious, in light of the recent "monument mess" and discussions/arguments over statues, that our nation's schools have done a pretty poor job in teaching kids history. The New York Post reported earlier this year that an abysmal 18 percent of American high school students were "proficient" in history.
The Atlantic, NBC News, The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, and the Huffington Post all reported the same depressing news: American high school and college students too, apparently) simply do not know American or World history, geography, or civics.
The facts are, most American high school and college students are dreadfully and blissfully ignorant of the most basic information about their own country, government, and the history and cultures of the world around them. This can account for some of the behavior among mobs of "students" attacking free speech and vandalizing property. Do not expect the schools which have been teaching them thus far to turn things around anytime soon.
A good thorough, systematic knowledge of U.S. and World history must be taught to kids for the following reasons. (And since the schools, for whatever reason, are failing us in this matter, parents and grandparents must take up the slack and teach the kids at home. If they don't, it won't get done, and our country will continue to suffer as we are now.)
1. Learning history develops character.
From history students learn such virtues as character, perseverance, compassion, and justice. Kids can read great stories of how William Wilberforce for 50 years led the fight to end slavery in the British Empire, and saw success only at the end of his life!
Children also read about the great villains of history like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. (Ask a student today if they've ever heard of Mao and what he did. They probably have no clue that he was the greatest mass-murderer of all time.) In history, kids can compare and contrast the great heroes (like Winston Churchill) with the great villains (like Fidel Castro or Pol Pot), and learn to develop the character that sets heroes apart from villains.