Essay on Find Out

945 Words Jun 4th, 2013 4 Pages
THE AUTHOR SPEAKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF STUDYING HISTORY
The study of history is important for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that it enables us to appreciate the importance of institutions such as democratically elected parliaments, the rule of law, trial by jury, an independent judiciary, and the need to protect them. Another important reason is that history provides us with a frame of reference that enables us to recognise dangers to our society, both from within and externally, and it provides guidance as to how to deal with those dangers when they arise. I believe that it was the English philosopher Roger Scruton who said that denying children a solid grounding in the history of their country was
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Perhaps this focus was influenced by a childhood affected significantly by World War II and in particular, by the Japanese attack on Australia in 1942. The practice of law for thirty years reduced my time for history studies but in no way diminished my love of history.
During the 1980s, I became increasingly aware that many Australian children had little or no awareness that Japan had attacked Australia in 1942, and that for most of that year Australia's fate hung in the balance. I studied educational trends from the mid-1960s, and found that the systematic study of history as a rigorous discipline had begun to disappear from many Australian schools during the 1970s. This had occurred at the instigation of the United Nations body called UNESCO, and history had been replaced by a vague and ill-defined subject called Social Studies. While many private schools have retained history departments, most government schools have now subsumed history, geography, and political issues under a vague subject called Study of Society and Environment (SOSE). The widespread abandonment of the systematic teaching of history to young Australians forcefully reminded me of George Santayana's famous aphorism:
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it."
I had first come across that aphorism when reading William L. Shirer's classic history "The Rise and Fall of the

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