General Aims of Teaching History:
1. Intellectual Advancement.
One of the most important aims of teaching history is to bring about intellectual development of the pupils. This is possible through the study of the vast knowledge that history provides. The mental horizon of the students is also widened through the study of the history of various countries.
2. To socialize the Pupils.
History being a social science, it deals with the social phenomenon in its varied aspects. The study of history therefore helps in the socialisation of the pupils. The pupils will be identified with the struggles and sacrifices of the race.
The teacher can impress on the minds of the pupils, how the people have suppressed personal desires in the interest of harmonious social life. This will have a socialising influence on the minds of the pupils.
3. To give proper conception of time, space and society.
The subject of history can best reveal to the child the conception of time, space and society, and the relationship that links the present with the past, the local with the distant and the personal and national life with the lives and cultures of other countries and nations elsewhere in time and space.
It helps to put our life in some sort of perspective in time. History is a link uniting each of us as. An individual with a whole, greater than ourselves this is essential to put over selves in the right perspective.
4. To promote self-understanding.
The knowledge of history enables a person to comprehend one’s identity. Knowledge of history makes one aware of himself and the environments around. To comprehend one’s identity fully and properly requires historical perspectives. Everyone has a heritage which is uniquely his, i.e., a combination of racial, national and family traditions, which are woven into his very being.
To imbibe these fully and properly requires the knowledge of history. It is very well said by Sir Walter Raleigh that, “the end and scope of all history being to teach us by examples of times past such wisdom as may guide our desires and actions”. Knowledge of the world’s great men and women, of the great achievements of different civilisations, are the part of the world’s culture and the culture of the educated persons. These promote self-understanding in an excellent way.
5. To impart training in citizenship.
Training in citizenship is an integral part of any educational programme. History is an excellent subject to achieve this aim. Being a social science, it imparts the necessary knowledge to the pupils to become good and enlightened citizens of their country. It enables the pupils to understand their rights as well as their duties, which is nothing but imparting training in citizenship.
6. To impart moral education.
The study of history helps to impart moral education. The lives of great men act as models for the emulation of the pupils. Thus, by reading about the lives of great men, the pupils imbibe their qualities unconsciously. Moreover, a deep study of history makes the pupils realize that every happening has a cause, and that it is only good and moral actions that lead to good results.
This imprints moral principles on the minds of the pupils. This is specially so in the case of children as in their case, moral principles can be easily brought home to them with the help of examples and stories from history. Therefore, history has been rightly called as philosophy teaching by example.
7. To cultivate insight and vision.
A proper study of history helps to cultivate insight, vision and forward look in the pupils. History teaching must encourage the students to have a vision of the future in order to shape it in a better and desirable manner. The lessons from the past can be applied to the creations of a new and better future. Thus, a very significant aim of teaching history is the cultivation of vision and the forward look.
8. To inculcate intellectual discipline.
In the realm of intellectual discipline, the study of history can train pupils to be accurate in comprehension, weigh evidence to separate the trivial from the significant, to distinguish between propaganda and truth.
This aim implies the development of critical thinking; interpretation of historical events objectively; to establish relations between cause and effect, and present and past; to develop in the students a proper understanding of social and physical environment and to create in them an urge to improve upon them. Thus, history helps to inculcate intellectual discipline in the students.
9. To foster patriotic feelings.
The teaching of history instills the feeling of patriotism in the hearts of the pupils. Through the study of history, the students come to know the glorious past of their country which helps to develop feelings of love and respect for their country.
The students also come to know about the glorious lives and advantageous actions of the great patriots, which act as models for the students to emulate. Thus history aims at fostering and inculcating national and patriotic feelings in the minds of the pupils.
10. To foster international understanding.
One of the most important aims of teaching history is to develop international understanding in the pupils. The study of world history helps to create international understanding through the knowledge of various cultures and civilisations of different countries.
The study of world history will impress upon the students that people all over the world are more or less similar, and they also face almost similar problems. This will foster international understanding in the pupils which is so essential and desirable in the modern world.
The above mentioned aims and objectives should always be kept in mind while teaching the subject of history.