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American history — Term paper

American History

Historical imagination simply put refers to the mental tools in which those who are studying and practicing history use. Historiography is the name attached to the study of history. A good historiographer must have empathy. That is the ability to put himself in the shoes of the subjects of history under investigation at the time the events occurred rather than just questioning why the events happened. Historians must also accept that history is evolving and that there is a need for change. Developing historical imagination is essential for both historians and non-historians, as they can learn from past mistakes and avoid the future occurrence. History well taught can help us solve a baggage of problems today. It creates humility as we can tackle today’s problems. History itself does not provide solutions but through it, historians forge the way forward. For example, if historians could have learned the World War I well, the World War II could be avoided. If the world discovered the negative consequences of Osama bin Laden, they would know how to deal with the ISIS. History teaches us that yesterday problems and today’s problems are similar, but that we have an opportunity to remedy our past mistakes.

James Loewen argues that history taught in high schools is a falsification of facts. He says the authors of the high school’s history textbooks did not address well the factual situations of the historical events covered. He further says that the kind of education system offered in high schools is only motivated at ensuring students pass exams. High school history students find history boring because of these techniques. The course involves digging a lot of false literature without engaging students in the historical process by questioning it. Out of this kind of history, students learn that heroes only existed in the past. The creation of heroism of some people through sculptures and literature in history books, make history boring. Students ought to realize that it is possible for them to become heroes too. The consequences of teaching history using these techniques are that students never enjoy the subject and will always find it boring. It also creates false heroes.

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