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Which historical discipline is more important to learn in school?

Which historical discipline is more important to learn in school?

The study of History is traditionally divided into a number of different disciplines:
- Economic History
- Political History
- Military History
- Social History
- Cultural History
- Environmental History
(There are more than this list, but these appear most prominently in most school history curricula.)

Which of these do you feel is most important for schools to focus on? Why?

Do you think there is anything in particular missing from this list?

Much to think about :beard:
I think economic and social/cultural history are much more important (and in this day and age, I'd wager more interesting to students) than military or political history. Learning more about "regular people" in history through the lens of economic and social history I think is a lot more interesting than learning about a bunch of Tudor monarchs, in my opinion, is more reflective of the actual nature of the period (which may or may not be important academically but for school children, it's easier to put yourself in the shoes of the average Joe than King Louis the X??? for example!).

It also provides a lot of interesting cases that debunk some widely held beliefs that are fundamentally damaging to modern day society (e.g. that women historically primarily stayed at home and acted as mothers - whereas the reality is not only did they do "work", but the work they did in weaving was especially important economically to the development of a lot of modern nation states).

Cultural history I think as with most cultural subjects is underexplored and again, leads to a lack of awareness of just how much intercultural exchange there was historically which likewise influences modern day beliefs. Realising how much e.g. MENA and South Asia influenced modern day Western culture, as well as the extent to which their own cultural forms were developed helps stop people from essentially recreating centuries old bigoted beliefs about culture X or Y being "backwards" etc.

Of course maybe those latter things are emphasised more now than when I was in school - the only thing I remember learning from an economic history perspective was about the Industrial revolution and nothing at all really in the cultural history realm (albeit I stopped taking history in year 9 - largely because I found it so boring up to then!).

The most interesting experience I had when studying history in school was when we went on a field trip to a county archive and got to look through early modern shipping correspondence - it did far more to ground the field in reality for me than anything else, and seeing the accounts books, correspondence and so on did more to inform me of the scope and importance of the shipping industry than up to then too! Then the field trip ended and we went back to learning about Cromwell and Henry's wives...
Original post by 04MR17
Which historical discipline is more important to learn in school?

The study of History is traditionally divided into a number of different disciplines:
- Economic History
- Political History
- Military History
- Social History
- Cultural History
- Environmental History
(There are more than this list, but these appear most prominently in most school history curricula.)

Which of these do you feel is most important for schools to focus on? Why?

Do you think there is anything in particular missing from this list?

Much to think about :beard:


The two most important histories in my view are:

Economic History to understand the economical background and the consequences for poor workers at that time, especially in industrial periods to make comparisons to the present economy (in Britain and in the world).

Political History to get a picture for the attitudes of the people who were involved in political processes and decisions, for the circumstances and the people in the public to compare the political thoughts at that time with the ones today.
(edited 1 year ago)
They're all different facets of the same wider picture all with bearing on each other so my view would be that they're all equally important.

That said, I find object with school learning in two areas (and this isn't quite answering the question):
- There tends to be more of a focus on the big events of war and politics than the more humdrum day-to-day life which, while not necessarily more important, should be given more attention. The latter seems mundane on the surface, but when it is explored more deeply (and I found this better at GCSE level than 7-9) it's exceedingly interesting to me.
- There's often a disconnect between the different fields. For example, when I learnt about the American civil war it was really just a lot of dates to be memorised with no real investigation of the impacts of what the impacts of battles were and so forth. Conversely, learning about the industrial revolution was reduced to mainly learning about the poor conditions of workers; with the only explanation of the details of how this situation arose being very simplistic and to the tune of 'The rich thought they were better than the poor because they were rich, and the poor moved to the city with the aim of a better life'. (This area, as with the former, did get better at GCSE though).
Economic, Political and Social history should be an integral part of the curricula IMO.

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