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10 interesting ways to learn history

how to learn history

A fascinating investigation of the human experience, history is a story of strong empires, revolutions, ideologies, and cultural changes. History classes don’t have to be a difficult process through countless dates and events, despite what some people may think. Fundamentally, history is a fascinating account of who we are, where we have  come from, and perhaps even where we are going.

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Interesting ways to remember history

Here are ten engaging ways to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history, breaking away from the traditional textbook approach.

Historical Fiction: With an arsenal of facts and figures at their disposal, historical fiction authors weave riveting narratives into real-life events. These books allow readers to live in different periods, offering a perspective that textbooks might fail to provide. Works like Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ or Bernard Cornwell’s ‘The Last Kingdom’ offer immersive historical experiences, packaged within compelling narratives.

Podcasts: There has been an impressive proliferation of history-focused podcasts. Shows such as ‘Hardcore History’ by Dan Carlin, ‘The British History Podcast’, and ‘Revolutions’ by Mike Duncan present history in gripping detail, often diving into the fascinating minutiae of events and characters. They offer a portable and hands-free way to absorb history during commutes, walks, or even household chores.

Documentaries and Films: Documentaries and historically-themed films offer visual representations of historical events, sparking our imagination and making history more tangible. Productions like Ken Burns’ ‘The Civil War’, the BBC’s ‘World at War’, or films like ‘Schindler’s List’ or ‘Atonement’ provide vivid depictions of the past, weaving together powerful narratives and visual artistry.

Interactive Museums and Historical Sites: Nothing breathes life into history like standing where it happened. From walking through the echoing corridors of the Tower of London to marvelling at the remnants of ancient Rome, visiting these sites allows you to truly connect with the past. Moreover, museums like the British Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris, or the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., curate artefacts that offer tangible links to our shared human story.

Historical Role-Playing Games (RPGs): RPGs have increasingly begun to incorporate historical settings and narratives into their gameplay. Games like ‘Assassin’s Creed’, set in different historical periods, provide a sensory exploration of the past. Although not completely accurate, they offer an interactive way to engage with different epochs, offering a fun way to learn while playing.

Online Courses: Universities and organisations worldwide offer free or inexpensive online courses covering a wide range of historical periods. Platforms like Coursera and FutureLearn provide interactive courses taught by university professors, enabling you to delve into specific topics that pique your interest, from the ancient world to modern history.

Historical Cooking: Exploring the culinary traditions of different eras can be a delightful sensory journey into history. Cookbooks and blogs devoted to historical cooking, like ‘The Forme of Cury’ (a mediaeval English cookbook), or ‘The Great British Bake Off’s historical segments, offer insights into the tastes and gastronomic culture of different periods.

Reenactment Groups: These groups provide an active way to delve into history. From mediaeval jousting to WWII battles, reenactment groups strive to recreate historical events with incredible attention to detail. Participating in, or even just watching these events, can give you an almost firsthand experience of the past.

Biographies and Autobiographies: Life stories of historical figures offer an intimate look into specific periods. Biographies like Robert K. Massie’s ‘Peter the Great’ or autobiographies like Anne Frank’s ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’, provide personal accounts that breathe life into historical events.

Graphic Novels and Comics: Graphic novels and comics like Art Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ or Jacques Tardi’s ‘It Was the War of the Trenches’ offer visually stimulating accounts of history. These works harness the power of visual storytelling, enabling readers to see and feel historical events, rather than just reading about them.

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Why is History actually interesting

History is interesting for several reason

Understanding the present and future: History provides context for the world we live in today. It helps us understand why societies, cultures, and nations are the way they are. By studying the past, we can also anticipate future trends and possibilities.

Life lessons: History is full of stories of success and failure, triumph and tragedy. These stories provide valuable lessons about human nature, leadership, decision-making, ethics, and countless other aspects of life.

Cultural understanding: History exposes us to diverse cultures and traditions, enhancing our understanding and appreciation of different ways of life. This understanding can promote empathy and mutual respect among people of different backgrounds.

Inspiration: Many people find inspiration in the achievements of historical figures who faced and overcame tremendous challenges. These stories can inspire us to persevere in the face of our own challenges.

Identity and belonging: Studying history can provide a sense of identity and belonging, whether that’s on a personal, community, national, or cultural level. It helps us to understand where we come from and what has shaped us.

Critical thinking: Analysing historical events and sources requires critical thinking skills. We have to evaluate evidence, interpret various perspectives, and construct coherent narratives. These are valuable skills not just for understanding history, but for many aspects of life.

Avoiding past mistakes: They say that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. By studying history, we can learn from past mistakes and avoid repeating them.

Curiosity and Discovery: For many, history is a treasure trove of fascinating stories, mysteries, and discoveries. Whether it’s uncovering the lost city of Atlantis, delving into the intricacies of the Roman Empire, or understanding the political manoeuvring that led to World War I, history caters to a wide variety of interests and feeds our innate human curiosity.

Appreciation of Change: History allows us to see how societies, ideas, and technologies have evolved over time. It gives us an appreciation for the advancements we often take for granted in the modern world.

Influence on all fields: Whether it’s literature, politics, law, medicine, or even science and technology, all fields are influenced and shaped by their past. Understanding history allows us to better comprehend these fields.

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To summarise History is more than just a list of facts you need to memorise. It is a wonderful story of human struggle, triumph, and knowledge. You’ll discover that history is everything but boring if you interact with it in a way that makes you happy and curious.

EuroSchool is committed to teaching history in a way that is engaging and relevant to students. By using a variety of methods, and by creating a classroom environment that is conducive to learning, EuroSchool helps students to understand the past and to make connections to the present.

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