Teaching History in Grade School

Post date: May 6, 2013 6:04:35 AM



Principal, Puerto Rivas Elementary School

I have been a teacher of History for two decades, and what I impart to my students in teaching History is getting narrative straight. We must always tell the truth.

According to Paul Yumol, “At the core of historical knowledge is the narrative. All narratives have a beginning, middle and end. They have protagonists. The protagonists either cause things to happen or things happen to them. When protagonists cause things to happen, they do so for a reason. The consequences of their actions may not have been foreseen, or they may be. When things happen to protagonists, and if these things happen because of what people have done, then there must be a reason for the actions of those people, Once again, consequences may be foreseen or unforeseen. The narrative is grasped intelligently, wherein preparations happen in two ways: getting the narrative straight and getting familiar with names and events. But in grade school we prepare to teach history by simply getting familiar with names and events.”

Others say that teaching History is full of dullness. To them history is often simply not an exciting subject to teach, but the challenge is to come up with techniques which capture the imagination of the learners to a particular issue. But history can and should be simplified. Intellectual development is one of the stages that must be developed in teaching this subject. As teachers we must take a stand in some issues of Philippine History. We must not leave the class with unanswered questions and worse, confused.

The following activities are being suggested:

1. Use your imagination to reconstruct the past.

2. Bring learners to museum and field trips.

3. Fix the past in their imaginations with images; thereby imagination is captured with ideas.

What I can suggest is that History or Araling Panlipunan teachers should review Philippine History. They will make many discoveries relevant to the organization of materials and which to emphasize, that they will use in presenting lessons to the pupils. But it is most important that narratives are clear to the teachers. If they are not, they will not be to the learners.