Very often I find my son totally bored when he studies his history lessons about Bulgaria – and believe me, we have a lot of history, since our country was found (for the first time) in 7th century AD. It is very sad to find that today’s teacher just force the pupils to kind of memorize the (hi)story and recite it in order to receive an A mark.
If I were a history teacher – a topic I’m interested a lot in – I would’ve taken the kids more often to museums and sites where, say, famous combats took place. There is no way attract a child’s attention with just words. It needs to see it, to get involved, to understand the context of the time. And to that a teacher needs to be much more creative than most are stimulated to be or even allowed.
I am sure that kids would love to see a real sword in the museum and would like to know who it belonged to and what job it did. When my son is bored with history, this is my tactics. We often visit historical sites and I tell him the history behind them.
Many of those places, caring glorious history, today are deteriorating and getting destroyed by the four elements. That is an unforgivable negligence. There are people like Svetlio Kantardzhiev who try to preserve what’s left of our history and culture with NGO’s and volunteering specialists, but they can’t encompass and take care for every object, building, monument, site, etc. And our country is quite rich in these.
I think that as a society, we’ve lost our common sense that history and culture comprise a big part of our national identity, and that without it, we are lost in an individualistic society with no common past and future. That is why I believe it is important for our kids to truly study history and culture and not just to learn it by heart and forget it when the test passes.