Has anyone ever had an experience where history became something more than just a bunch of dry facts or something that happened to people in the past? What I mean when I say, "where history became something more," I mean, has anyone had an experience where history came alive and felt real for a moment or at least did not feel as distant as at other times?
During this past summer, I was browsing through an old newspaper from an ancestral county, when I came across a newspaper article on the Missouri Compromise. As I read the column, history suddenly came alive for me. It wasn't just a feeling where I thought, "Hey, I learned this in school," but it was also a sense of a close connection. It actually felt as though it had meaning for me. (I realize this sounds weird, but I can't explain this any better.)
After I stopped browsing the newspaper, I started to wonder if history could be made more interesting to people not interested in history. Would many more children find history more interesting if their teachers brought in some original documents or had them do their family history as a project? From my understanding, many students find history boring and I think part of the reason is as a result of how history is taught. Would a change in teaching style or presentation style make history more interesting? I'm not sure, but I am worried by the failure of many Americans to remember their country's history.
What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment.