History texts books should be used to help understand why things happened, not just what happened
History text books should all come with the following quote from Winston Churchill: “history is written by the victors”. Not to undermine the contents of the book, but to encourage students to adopt an open, critical mind when reading history. It’s one thing to memorise history, it’s another to analyse it and draw valid conclusions, parallels and lessons from it.
Critical thinking is an area largely missing from the modern classroom in most curricula around the world. However, critical thinking aids real problem solving, something that is hugely beneficial in most occupations. Students careers, and society at large, would benefit positively from a greater number of critical, informed graduates. History text books should only be used to aid open, balanced and critical discussions on history, and not as a sort of history “bible” that cannot be questioned.
As technology in the classroom expands, the role of the textbook in classrooms will inevitably be effected. Online and technological resources may currently augment lessons and textbooks, but eventually history textbooks may be succeeded by newer forms of educational media entirely, for example podcasts and videos. With this move to online resources students will be exposed to a larger variety of information, and it is here as in life in general, where critical thinking skills will be the most important tool in handling the monumental amount of information students have access too.