I was introduced to the study of history early in my school years by hearing stories about people who lived in other times and places. I learned, too, that the world was not always like it was when I was in the lower grades.

Later in the elementary school grades, a more formal study included Illinois history in fourth grade, U.S. history in the fifth grade, world history in the sixth grade, and U.S. history and current events in seventh and eighth grade. We also studied the Constitution in eighth grade.

In high school, all students were required to take a world history class in sophomore year, and U.S. history in either junior or senior year.

Various methods were used to add to the information given in the history books used in the course. My fifth-grade teacher enhanced our learning of U.S. history by showing filmstrips, slides, and movies. My seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher took our class on field trips to museums that had displays historical events, and during my eighth-grade year, our class put on a play dramatizing the founding of Chicago.

In both elementary and high school U.S. history classes, a common practice was the teaching of patriotism in order for the class to learn to love and respect our country and to admire our great heroes.

My high school world history teacher believed there were many things students would be more likely to understand through the study of history than in any other way.

She told us most of students in Oak Park grew up in a single culture and took it for granted that the way things are done in that culture is the only way to do them. She taught us that history can help us develop an understanding and appreciation of other cultures as well.

My U.S. history teacher in high school, told us that students of history, like ourselves, often pick up cultural lag. She explained that even a young child can see again and again in history how people keep on doing things in the way they are used to doing them even when the reasons for doing them that way have disappeared. She said this understanding helps the student evaluate beliefs that are held currently.

I learned in grade school that people of all lands and races are very much alike, that customs are often a better protection against tyranny than laws themselves, that important changes nearly always come gradually and are very likely to arise in the mind of a youngster through the study of history.

All the history teachers I had believed it was foolish to say we study history to learn only the facts. We also need some basis for picking out facts that are necessary to learn, and history should be studied for the light it can shed upon the problems of our time.

The thoughtful history teachers I had used history to help us build and broaden our own points of view and our own outlook on the world.

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