Today it may go unsaid that the essence of an author’s experience is let into their writing, whether purpose or not. My love of communicating with people, talking with them and learning from them obviously slips into this project. Figure One illustrates the fact that all humans have different perspectives and values, which is essential knowledge when studying history. Each person can come up with a different explanation for events depending on they type of person that they are.
We must use caution when allowing perception and bias into historical studies however. As Snjezana Koren describes in her chapter entitled “Boring History, Bored Students: The Role of History Teachers,” it can become very easy for nationalist interests to become engrained in history. If we are careful we will be able to make sure that political interests are not promoted with the use of history.
I believe that history should be used as a method of creating a better future. By looking at events that have already occurred, we can get an idea of how to solve problems that society faces in the present. Writing is the only one way that we are going to make history important to people in today’s world, and in turn make it better for all.
History has undergone a shift concerning the inclusion of personal experience and perspective. Scholars no longer claim to be objective and able to completely omit themselves from part of the story that they tell. Bringing in subjectivity and a person touch gives historical argument something that humans can relate to. It connects the boring chronology and gives meaning to events that would otherwise seem unrelated. I was able to get a better view of how historians view perspective and bias in by reading Robert V. Daniels’ Studying History: How and Why. The book discusses bias and how the view of bias in the discipline has shifted. In addition, Daniels looks at what impacts the inclusion of subjectivity has had. Once it was considered unprofessional to include personal bias into an essay. Objectivity was viewed as being very important to history. Presently it is widely recognized that it is nearly impossible to leave out your personal convictions out of something that you write.
We know then that scholars have changed their view towards historical discipline and began to value opinion and perspective, but why has the general public lagged behind this shift? Most people still view history as objective and dull, when in the academy it is filled with personal experience and subjectivity. To challenge this view, I want to look deeper into how people view the study of history.