Schools Should Expand Their History Focuses

by Zeran, age 11
Schools Should Expand Their History Focuses Zeran attends United Nations International School. She is a dancer and a singer, and also speaks fluent Mandarin.

“I think it’s important to expand our history focuses so I want this to change.”

 

Schools should expand their history focuses. They shouldn’t concentrate only on one area of the world. Students will only know about the countries the teachers taught about. It’s also not fair to the students from the places they excluded in their teaching. These students feel excluded as well. I think it’s important to expand our history focuses so I want this to change.

The teacher’s job is supposed to be giving students knowledge about the whole world. But if they don’t include all the important places in the world, the parents will end up teaching about it instead of the teachers. And they still are paying money for the teachers to teach their children. My school studied World War II in history class once and the teacher talked only about what happened in the Western countries. When I learned about it, the teacher talked about the Jews and the Europeans but not about places in Asia where I was from, even though the events that happened between Japan and China were equally important. Because of their choice, I had to ask my parents about World War II in my country instead of the teachers teaching it. My parents ended up doing a job that the teachers were supposed to do. This problem existed despite the fact that my school was the United Nations International School. If the issue happened there, I can only imagine how much worse it would be in other schools.

Studying all the countries in the world is a great thing for all students. By studying some particular culture, society or region of the non-Western world (such as those of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Oceania), students will be able to broaden their understanding of human achievements and qualities beyond the Western countries. As the world becomes more connected, and at the same time more diverse, understanding all this is very helpful.

Lastly, if we only talk about Western history, students will only understand the western side of things and think that Western countries are always right. We need to see all points of views in order to let students decide what they want to think. It’s just not fair to the other countries to ignore their points of views. Ted Dickson, a high school teacher, thinks U.S. history talks mainly about all the great things about the country: “Do you encourage citizenship and patriotism by only talking about what’s great about the U.S.? Or do you encourage citizenship and patriotism by talking about not just the positives aspects of our history but also the parts that are negative and how we as a country strive to overcome those?”

This is why schools should expand their history focuses. It’s good for the students. It tells people they are respected so they won’t feel excluded. It also fulfills the reason kids are even brought to schools and gives parents a lot more free time and trust in the school.

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