I’m Annoyed at What Americans Teach Students in History Class. Several tests have shown that American students do not really know their objective history. One of the tests carried out across the nation called upon students to explain two contributions to social, political or economic developments of America by famous personalities like Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Jefferson. The New York Times reported that only 22% of the students had mastered sufficient history during in high school to answer the questions correctly. While that test was carried out in April 1943, the same case still applies today, and that is what makes me so irritated and annoyed.
But it is true that history does repeat itself. For example, two surveys carried out in 1995 and 2002 respectively each found that 12th graders knew very little about American history. It troubles me that we are not quite historically minded as a country. This makes me irritated, especially since learning history is a way of ensuring we never make certain mistakes again and also get inspired by the innovators who have come before us.
I am annoyed that Americans are teaching students to pass history exams. They are focusing more on passing exams rather than the deeper and contextual learning that is necessary with history lessons. That is why some students are just being categorized as ‘proficient’ as they do not really care about learning history since they know it does not count. They are not really incentivized enough to care about history lessons.
It troubles me that many students who leave American schools cannot really understand the context of our country’s history. When it comes to history, it is not just about reciting facts, but rather it is about having context of how specific events happened. For example, during an election season, there are usually candidates who come up and make claims about historical events and the reasons why you must elect them as there is a sort of historical precedent that explains what they are seeking to do. It displeases me that most Americans cannot really evaluate such claims on their own as they do not know sufficient history.
Finally, what makes me so annoyed and utterly irritated at what Americans teach in history class is that they try to sort of censor the curriculum. The history lessons today are geared towards encouraging patriotism and citizenship by only talking about the positive parts of America’s history. However, I believe that even the negative parts of our history are important as it will give the stories about how we strived to overcome all those challenges. It is only then that we can develop the critical thinking skills of our students.