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history should be optional in schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 315 times Debate No: 92275
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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I don't think history should be compulsory in schools as they have no practical use. Some people say lessons of the past give us learning, but as citizens we would never have to make decisions of a world leader. Also, history is out of date, and as times change, its lessons don't apply to the present world, such as imperialist doctrines. Lastly, most of the lessons can be gained without learning history. One example would be that hitler killed many Jews, but wouldn't I know that killing and racial discrimination is bad without reading about Hitler? History should be optional and only those who have an interest in history should study history.


For us to understand the world we live in we need to know our history, such as in math, writing, and art. Math is based on axioms and theorems, without history Math would be obsolete. Writing and language includes a study of etymology and linguistics, without history we can not understand how English can change and become out of date. Art and culture help shape our values that we have today as a community. Any time we are involved in a debate we must understand the communities values of our listeners.

The reason we must get involved in our history is to create our future. The stakes are greater because of the technology that we have, we can ruin mankind and we can ruin our earth if we repeat the same mistakes. History is our solution guide.

Who is responsible for political decisions? The people who go to school, it is not the poor uneducated who are illiterate, handicapped, less skillful, or discriminated against. The politicians look to those who are strong politically, and to those who know how to mount hustings, write newspapers, and provide the candidates. They only need 51% of the votes and they seek those who know how to use the system, they want the middle class. Do you know who pays for better schools, and other institutional programs it is the poor, the lower classes through their taxes, and the elite pay no attention to them. So, go to school learn as much as you can while you can and stand up for those who can not.

If you want to find out how powerful you really are in politics watch this video by Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 " November 16, 2006) who was an American economist who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic sciences.
Where he talks about the Robin Hood Myth.


Ronald Reagon said: " Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."

I am glad that you are getting involved in this debate forum, you are learning what you believe in and how to defend it.
One way you learn what you believe in is through history, you can develop a sense of cultural identity. This will make you a strong opponent and a powerful advocate. When we learn how other nations were deceived by vague ambiguous language in the past we can see how to correct the problem. We will also be able to educate and alert the people. No longer will the elite be able to debase English and downgrade the intelligence of the American people, because you will be ready to stand up to them. I appreciate when you and all the other young people today take on this great responsibility, what a great privilege, and it only gets better.
Debate Round No. 1


Math, writing and art are taught as different subjects in schools, so that doesn't count. As for culture, history prolongs old feuds such as between India and Pakistan or other countries as the masses still remember what happened. With no history lessons, the masses would have less dissent against other countries and aid globalization.
"The reason we must get involved in our history is to create our future. The stakes are greater because of the technology that we have, we can ruin mankind and we can ruin our earth if we repeat the same mistakes. History is our solution guide."
You contradict yourself. We never had the technology to ruin the Earth before, how will we get solutions from history? Plus, I will bring up the point again that even without history these solutions can be easily inferred. One example would be dropping of the atomic bomb. Even without reading about the bombings that happened, wouldn't I know that bombs are bad and cause destruction? Learning it the scientific way is much easier than the historical way, for popular opinion and media can influence history but it is harder to manipulate science to your ends.
"Who is responsible for political decisions? The people who go to school, it is not the poor uneducated who are illiterate, handicapped, less skillful, or discriminated against"
Hey don't discriminate handicapped and different races. And anyways, after the votes, it is entirely up to the politician what does he want to do. Plus, just tell me how does history help us do better voting. Also, contrary to your belief, politicians need to instill hope in the poor people as in some countries they are in larger number, and also their desperation allows them to be persuaded far more easily than the middle class. As for your point about political candidates, anyone, rich, poor or middle class can become a political candidate if they are persuasive enough. While the media is run by the middle class, it is becoming unreliable and it works only for money.

I don't get what you mean by cultural identity. For example, Britain has plundered many countries in its past history, but surely that is not what all of them still want to do, is it?
"No longer will the elite be able to debase English and downgrade the intelligence of the American people, because you will be ready to stand up to them."
Which elite has managed to debase English? Shakespeare was poor but he still added about a thousand new words to the English language. To add another point, despite history lessons Donald Trump still downgrades the intelligence of the American population.

My main point is that history teaches obvious lessons that we already know, and therefore history is outliving its use and must be optional. Even without learning history, I can make war strategies, world decisions and make law. Also, history lessons get outdated and don't apply to our world. For example, the execution of those against the king and heretics was required to increase the hold of the king on the kingdom, but that rule can't be applied to our world. It can't be used as a bad example either, because they weren't able to do anything against them. Lastly, most people don't give history much importance and even if someone knows history, they may repeat it as they haven't experienced it. If a world leader learns history he may easily forget all about it after school. After all, ever heard someone in the Parliament say "since that happened in 1593, we must not allow it to happen it in 2016." or "Since the scheme in 1765 worked, it should work now as well" No, no one says that and they probably never will.


Your argument about aiding globalization is not a strong premise. If you look on this debate site alone you will notice Globalization is a controversial subject.

At the expense of sounding redundant let me ask you:
Are you going to write a book that surpasses 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu? You did mentioned you could come up with war strategies. Or perhaps you can come up with one new word. like Shakespeare. Do you know how to create one new word? You are a rather smart perhaps you can, but does that mean that everyone else can? Many people do not understand semantics, and how many words are created with old words from the study of etymology from history. Do you think you can create a master piece like Beethoven or Mozart?
When you get out of school you will find out that life does not divide subjects into science, history, language arts, or mathematics. They are simply tools that you will use in life and one without the other would only dull your abilities.

Your interpretation of history is a travesty! You did not mention that;
Some history depends on personal taste, where one finds beauty, the joy of discovery, or intellectual challenge. Between the inescapable minimum and the pleasure of deep commitment comes the history that, through cumulative skill in interpreting the unfolding human record, provides a real grasp of how the world works.

Through our history we discover cultural identity, because we gain access to the laboratory of human experience. We discover our customs, values, and morals. Through our history we attempt to make meaning of how we see the world through various techniques. The Constitution of the United States has protected our freedom and give fundamental principles for governing our country.
The First amendment protects your freedom of speech and the freedom of press.
Think about that for a moment, in a communist country we have learned that if anyone
was brave enough to speak out, they could disappear the very next day and you would
never see them again.
In this country you do not need to be a bystander. Do you know that in some instances a bystander could be as guilty as the perpetrator. Edmond Burke who lived between January 12, 1729- July 9,1797 reminds us that "Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."

Have you ever heard about the shot that was heard around the world in 1775? If not I suggest that you read this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here is asingle passage of his poem.
We set to-day a votive stone;
"That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,"

This poem is talking about your cultural identity and why you have your freedom today. Will you choose to forget who you are?
Why don't you learn about the questions that an immigrant must answer to come into this country.

Do you think that an immigrant should know more about American history than the average citizen does?
Debate Round No. 2


"When you get out of school you will find out that life does not divide subjects into science, history, language arts, or mathematics."
But we are talking about whether history should be optional in schools or not. Con seems to be deviating from the resolution. And what we learn in history is usually not linked to subjects like music, art, english or math. While you may argue that the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu is great, it isn't going to be useful for us for most likely we are not going to be war generals. Even in the situation of all-out war, we would be soldiers and not be able to control the entire battle.
"Some history depends on personal taste, where one finds beauty, the joy of discovery, or intellectual challenge."
But in school, everyone has to study to same topic, and that's the reason it is disliked by the majority. If history was optional, we could see the topics for next year and enroll or pass.
"Through our history we discover cultural identity, because we gain access to the laboratory of human experience. We discover our customs, values, and morals."
It isn't necessary we wish to identify with them. Plus, con hasn't given a rebuttal to point about Britain. Britain's previous values have been that they are superior to everyone else and they would dominate, but do the citizens still think like that? Should the citizens think like that?
As for the first Amendment, we all know freedom is our fundamental right, and that includes freedom of speech. Someone would need to tell us in a communist country that we are not allowed to give our opinions, for it is natural to speak about what is on our mind.
"In this country you do not need to be a bystander" Stop saying this country. I am not an American.
"Will you choose to forget who you are?"
Does it really matter to me how did I obtain my freedom? So long as I have it, I am all right.
Why does an immigrant need to know so much history? The US needs to change its immigration policies.
I think all that history takes up too much space in our mind and is not practical. As we are all ordinary citizens, we can't do anything about the past, or do much in the future. After all, even though we would know about all revolutions and how to start a successful revolution, we wouldn't, because it is hard work and we don't want it. While some people are curious into the origin of things, it is ultimately unuseful and therefore history should be optional. In addition to that, students should get more freedom to choose what they learn, for the real world depends upon specialization. The saying "It is better to be a master of one trade than a jack of all" comes to my mind. Thus, vote for Pro.


What Pro has to realize is that History as a core curriculum has to be an inherent problem that could be eliminated by making history optional. It could be that his school just needs a new teacher or to change the subjects in the class.
However I do not believe that the subjects in the class are relevant to what history is really teaching him to do. Pro is stuck in a single perspective. If he wants me to give my point of view on Britain, yes I do see Anglo-America still as superior in the world, but I also see a nation which gave aid to the rise of the middle class, through the industrial revolution. Britain is a country who honored those who may have been forgotten with the Memorial of Heroic Self Sacrifice Public Monument in Postmans Park. in London.

History provides basic factual information about the background of our political institutions and about the values and problems that affect our social well-being. It also contributes to our capacity to use evidence, assess interpretations, and analyze change and continuities. As stated in the article.
History provides:
1. The ability to access evidence: Public statements, private records, numerical data, and visual materials can be analyzed to determine the existence whether an event really truly happened in the past, or it may determined how it happened. A student of history will learn the technical skills to be able to distinguish between the objective and the self-serving. This can be useful when deciding on the impact and accuracy of the statements made by present-day political leaders.

2. The Ability to Assess Conflicting Interpretations: "Understanding how societies work is the central goal of historical study it is inherently imprecise, and the same certainly holds true for understanding what is going on in our time now. The study of history in no sense undermines loyalty or commitment, but it does teach the need for assessing arguments, and it provides opportunities to engage in debate and achieve perspective.

3. Experience in Assessing Past Examples of Change: " The ability to identify the continuities that always accompany even the most dramatic changes also comes from studying history, as does the skill to determine probable causes of change. Learning history helps one figure out, for example, if one main factor"such as a technological innovation or some deliberate new policy"accounts for a change or whether, as is more commonly the case, a number of factors combine to generate the actual change that occurs. Studying history helps us understand how recent, current, and prospective changes that affect the lives of citizens are emerging or may emerge and what causes are involved."

I am not condemning your thinking Lord_Megatron if history was optional I would hope that you would still take it. Historians just take the same facts and retell the story from their own perspective. Since you have demonstrated individual thought your interpretation of the facts are also important. I do believe you are a soldier and your opinion is valuable. I want you to remember this famous quote, "All hands on deck to save the sinking ship." If all students get involved in history despite the subject everyone would benefit. And active participation is the best way to get students to learn, history should not be to impress other people of knowledge of mindless facts and numbers.

If you wish to continue this debate use the comments section of this debate. And I will give you my thoughts on immigration, globalization, the impact of the world banks controlled by developed nations to oppress developing countries to maintain superiority, or the impact of history that pushes North Korea to retaliate against the United States. None of this is to dispel your opinion.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 4 months ago
>Reported vote: parkerwil// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: I felt Pro was too aggressive, and cross- due to that, Con gets conduct. I will tie spelling and grammar. I felt Con had more convincing arguments. This was close, but Con's arguments persuaded me more; Con not only gave great detail on why it is linked with other school subjects but as well as it is important to learn from school when you graduate. Reliable Sources goes to Con as he was the only one to provide any. Good debate, close one.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) Conduct is insufficiently explained. Aggression and being cross are too generalized " the voter has to point to instances where the debater attacked either their opponent or others to award this point. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter has to analyze specific arguments made by both sides in the debate, and in this case, only analyzes arguments made by Con. (3) Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to assess the reliability of the sources and not just their quantity, even if only one side had them.
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