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The Importance of History of Education

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The Importance of History of Education by : 2:21 pm On December 8, 2018


Purpose of History of Education

The major reason for teaching history is to develop patriotism. History, generally, has been taught to make children love and respect their own country and admire its great heroes.


Factors affecting Educational Development in Nigeria

It could also enable one to win support for a particular race or to show that races are very much the same. At its best, history is studied and taught so that people may learn the lessons of the past and gain the knowledge to deal with the problems of the present and the knowledge to deal with the problems of the future.


Many scholars have seen history as the gradual unfolding of a divine plan, with the people acting out their assigned roles. Again, history is studied for the sake of the light it can shed upon problems of our own time. Through history, one can develop an understanding and appreciation of one’s culture. It also helps to evaluate beliefs. History as a source of ideas enables a child to realize that men of all races and lands are very much alike, or that customs are often a better protection against tyranny than the laws themselves. History is there to give people the insight that important changes always come gradually. Thoughtfully, teachers can use history to help the child build and broaden his own point of view and outlook on the world.

Education is the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, habits, values or attitudes. It is used to describe the results of the educational process. Education is man’s chief means of acquiring and teaching the essential knowledge and skills.


Education helps people acquire the skills they need for such everyday activities as reading newspapers or managing their money. It also gives them the specialized training they need to prepare for a job or career. For instance, a person must meet certain educational requirements and obtain a license or certificate before he can practice any art (law, medicine etc). Education is important because it helps people get more out of life. It increases their knowledge and understanding of the world. Education also helps people to adjust to changes and make a provision of skills for adjusting to them.

History of education, like other social sciences, emerged from the older collegiate disciplines in the last half of the nineteenth century. One of the impulses towards the study of educational history as such came from the professionalism of teaching which demanded a specialized training programme. Another impulse was the idea that truth is best verified by a group of trained scholars who share specialized canons for research in a particular field of inquiry.

History of Education – Its Importance to Teachers

History of education was not influenced by the Hegelian philosophy of history which deals with the development of human spirit towards self-realization. Recently, a wider significance is recognized both because of the function of the study in professional education and or its cultural values. The recent strong emphasis upon generic approach has brought into clearer light the significance of the historical. If a large proportion of our educational ideas and practices have no other support in the present but a historical or traditional one, it is quite essential to the teacher to know something of the origin and significance of these customs.

As an instrument for broadening the interests and sympathies of teachers, often more restricted than those of the children whom they teach, this study is of great value because of the broad c********n and wide social relation of the education which it gives.

The subject matter of history of education embodies how the societies have transmitted culture to the young as well as how values, beliefs, ideas and faiths have been taught to individuals. It also encompasses the studies of the development of nationalism, the use of propaganda, the changes in attitudes toward the role individuals play in the society. Thus, the history of education has been required both to discuss what ought to be. Hence Maxwell (1981:322) recommended the inclusion of History of education in the teacher-training curriculum.

According to him;

When properly studied, it results in a culture of the highest kind by generating a realizing sense of the great things accomplished by the human race… It imparts an exalted idea of the teacher’s profession through inciting reverence for the great teachers who have left their impress on mankind; it shows us what to avoid by exhibiting the experiments that have been tried in the balance of experience and found wanting; and … it displays before us principles and methods the efficacy of which has been demonstrated by the accumulated testimony of ages.

It means, therefore, that history of education is not a matter of helping students reconstruct and understand the past but rather matters of helping prospective teachers find in the writings of great educational thinkers the ideal and inspiration that will lead to its civilization. It is in this connection that the beginning students in education should be exposed to and made familiar with recent developments; to be able to view present-day educational problems in social bearings. Also, History of education is in place to enable students to see the educational service in its proper setting as a great national institution evolved by democracy to help it solve its many perplexing problems. Hence, History of education is considered as a key element in professional training in education.

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