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What is the basic aim of History?

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The basic aim of History is to keep the new generation up-to-date about the country and its traditions, so that they can lay out plans for future.

Like all other subjects in the School Curriculum, history has its own aims or purposes. Ghate has aptly said. "An aim is the conscious purpose which we keep before our minds while doing a thing or after having done". In general, the aims of teaching history are the same as that of education-for example, the all-round development of children. Aims are usually general and long term goals which are desired to be realized through teaching history.

Aims of Teaching History

History aims at helping students to understand the present existing social, political, religious and economic conditions of the people. The present is in fact the child of the past. It is a development of the past. Without the knowledge of history we cannot have the background of our religion, customs institutions, administration and so on. Our present conditions are thus the result of the past problems.

Ghate has rightly pointed out that to understand the present; we must see the past which is hidden in it. Some people consider it to be so important that they are in favor of teaching history backwards. They would start with present items and then go back in reverse order till they reach the Stone Age. It is to be realized that history is a study of the present and not of the dead past. We are not interested in the past for its own sake. We have no time to tell grandma's tales of the past.

The teaching of history helps the students to explain the present, to analyze it and to trace its course. Cause-and-effect relationship between the past and the present is lively presented in the history. History thus helps us to understand the present day problems both at the national and international level accurately and objectively. This understanding enables us to lead useful and efficient lives. We should feel "that history is interesting and that it has a real bearing on our everyday life and that it is, therefore, worthwhile taking trouble to assimilate its facts."

Thus, it may be concluded that there are mainly two aims of teaching history-(l) the UTILITARIAN AIM and INTELLECTUAL AIM. The former emphasizes that history gives us a body of useful information necessary for understanding the current problems. It creates interest as well as love for reading historical figures, characters, events and facts which are found necessary for solving the present problems effectively. Secondly, the reading of history trains memory, reasoning, presentation of facts systematically and successfully. It enables students to analyze & weigh evidences and take right decisions. All this helps in intellectual development of children.
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