Today, I went to Oregon City for the first time – it was interesting hearing more about the history behind the Oregon Trail, and how people ended up in that town. I could definitely see parts of the museum being very useful as a field trip for children. I didn’t really learn much about the history of California, besides the gold rush (and even that was quite brief). History was a subject that didn’t interest me much in school because it was not brought to life in middle or high school. I think many educators believe that only elementary students need a more animated structure, but it could really help keep the attention of older kids.
Conversations that went on at a dinner party tonight made me think about the impact of History and how it is taught. It also depends on the person and how interested they are in the subject; however, you can make most things engaging if it is taught effectively. I could not contribute in the conversation, and I think part of it is my nature – BUT a large portion of it was that I did not want to embarrass myself by stating something that was not true. Besides one year of engaging History class, I can say that my experience learning the subject was very dull. We read from the textbooks and had lectures about it more often than not. Involvement in the topics and actually having debates would have helped me understand more about politics and remember a lot more of the content.