WHY SHOULD I STUDY HISTORY?
HOW DOES HISTORY PREPARE ME FOR A CAREER?
These are probably some of the questions you are asking yourself as you think about your subject choices. These are very important questions. The History Department firmly believes that by studying History, as a Grade 12 subject, you will acquire skills basic to most careers, thus providing you with a sound basis for further study as well as the pursuit of personal interests.
WHY SHOULD I STUDY HISTORY? HOW DOES HISTORY PREPARE ME FOR A CAREER?
The History Department firmly believes that studying History as a Matric subject equips students for a broad range of challenging careers in which research skills, a capacity for informed critical judgement and effective grounding in written work and oral presentation and an ability to interpret complex materials and varying view points will prove invaluable. Past Our Lady of Fatima Matric History pupils are today very successfully pursuing careers as Doctors, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Civil and Chemical Engineers, Lawyers and Chartered Accountants.
WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED?
Here is a list of necessary skills compiled by an American study:
exchanging ideas through writing & reading.
selecting what is relevant to a problem: drawing a conclusion, and based on that, making suggestions.
making ideas materialise.
working effectively as part of a team – discussing & exchanging ideas.
managing your time & setting priorities.
HOW CAN HISTORY HELP ME TO DEVELOP THESE SKILLS?
The CONTENT of History focuses on men and women in the past. History, therefore, develops an awareness of the human experience: of values and of causes and effects. This, in turn, enhances both your understanding of, and relationships with, the world around you, as well as your ability to communicate with others. It is worth noting that History, as the memory of the community, engenders a sense of the past, without which no community or individual can understand the present, or make plans for the future. In other words, History makes life meaningful.
As an I.E.B. school, the METHOD of History teaching is skills-based and problem-centred and is aimed at encouraging critical thinking and interpretation. Through essay-writing many academic skills are developed: problem analysis; selection of information; distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information, and final synthesis i.e. writing up the information in a well-structured essay. All these skills are specifically taught and consistently practised from Grade 10 to Grade 12.
Through the study of sources, you will learn to be objective – to evaluate and detect bias. The emphasis is on empathy and understanding, not judgement, always keeping in mind that “history is an argument without end, where different points of view are debated.”
The content studied in Grades 10, 11 and 12 covers the history of Europe and America between the 18th and 20th centuries and is aimed at deepening your understanding of the development of the modern world. This involves a study of the growth of ideologies e.g. nationalism, imperialism, communism and their interaction within the international arena as causes the two World Wars and of the Cold War.
The period of South African history studied is primarily that of the 20th century and is invaluable for the understanding of the post-apartheid period in which we live. This entails a study of legislation and resistance and the movement towards democracy by 1994.
TYPE OF WORK
The department emphasises the academic skills of reading and comprehension; research and essay writing; the study of documents, extracts, cartoons and statistics. Communication skills are encouraged through group work, oral presentation and discussion. There can be no doubt that History is well placed to meet the skills required by the job market.
History develops a vibrant enquiring mind and enables you to come to grips with the features that constitute our changing world. The ability to embrace change and progress is vital in our dynamic world. History will assist you in understanding the nature of change and will give you the knowledge and insight to deal with it.