You may have heard the old saying that goes something like “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We all are a part of history. From events happening years ago, to what happens tomorrow, it will all be history. But making sure the significance of certain events are understood is what students of history are trying to keep fresh.
Doctor Ron Tyler has dedicated a great part of his life to history.
“Well, I’m retired now; but, I had a career that lasted almost 50 years,” Ron Tyler, retired professor of history, said.
This came after a historic discovery.
“I discovered when I was a kid that history was fun and it still is.”
As we have seen in recent days however, not all history that will be studied could be characterized as fun.
“Some history is tragic, unfortunately,” Tyler pointed out.”We try to study those events too, find out what happened, what went wrong and how we might prevent it.”
Dr. Tyler, other history professors, students, as well as the public are taking part in a two day conference at Wichita Falls Museum of Art titled ‘Teaching history in the 21st century.’ Topics include shaping curriculum, applying historical thinking as well as incorporating other issues. MSU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Whitney Snow said conferences like this are needed. She’s only been teaching for ten years, but pointed out interpretations of history, the way history is taught and students themselves, are constantly changing.
“The students have become far more literal. They want more explicit instructions in the past ten years,” explained Dr. Snow.
And while Snow can’t pinpoint one reason, she does have an educated guess.
“I think perhaps it’s the instant gratification that they have by just pushing a button and accessing they want online.”
Even how we access information in 2018 will be considered history.
But just who decides what parts of history are important?
“One thing we found out today is that as much history as we had overlooked in the past, it turns out to be very meaningful when you get into it,” stated Tyler.
“So, it might not seem important at the time; but a few years later, when you find out what really happened and why, it becomes interesting and perhaps important.”
And if history teaches us anything, it’s that history itself will ultimately be the judge.
If you would like to register for day two of the event, click here.