Reflection Of A History Class

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When most people think of a history class they imagine sitting in a dark lecture hall taking notes off a PowerPoint presentation, memorizing a few dates and people, repeating it on the test. Truly studying history, I learned, is more than memorization of a previously told story and accepting it as true. In this class I have learned history is about actively engaging the material, picking apart the details and nuances, creating and using timelines, finding deeper meaning in the material, asking questions, then looking again and digging deeper. It is not a passive study and not about memorization as I believed at the beginning of the semester. History is about asking questions and looking for answers, not just accepting what is already there, …show more content…
I have discovered that history is an active engagement of analytical techniques to generate questions and develop answers, and not about memorization of names, dates, and battles. There is no new information to be gained from that, and while it is important to know, does not contribute actively to the betterment of knowledge about our past. Learning that history is not just a body of material you observe, but a study you engage and do, has been a major change in my view of history that I have gained through this course. Before I began this class, I viewed history as a passive study. I thought all there was to a history courses was memorizing dates, names, battles, and events. I expected the difficulty of the material to be harder as this was a college course, but I anticipated taking the same approach I had taken to study as previous history courses. I thought I would go to a lecture, take notes, read the textbook, and memorize the information to be reiterated on the test. However, I quickly learned that this was not going to be the typical history lecture I envisioned. On the first day of class when I heard it was a lab initially I was confused, …show more content…
My understanding of history as an active subject of study was changed from my previous belief that it was a passive one. I realized that there is always more to be learned and contributed to our knowledge of the past. At the beginning of the semester I did not see how a history class could be structured as a lab. At first I struggled to grasp the concept of analyzing documents and trying not to just confirm facts that were already know, but to look for new patterns, themes, anxieties, details, and nuances. Once I grasped this concept, I was better able to try and generate and answer questions that had never been asked or well supported before. This understanding deepened as the semester progressed and one very important piece of knowledge I gained through taking this course was that it is okay to be wrong - failure can be more than failure. In fact, it can help you create a more accurate and precise hypothesis and that you are likely better off from having failed as long as you make something out of it. This is an important idea I can take with me through the rest of my education that will be very valuable to me. Finally, my perspective on history developed. Furthermore, I learned that history is something that you do, observe, analyze,

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