History Classification: World, National, Regional and Local History!
1. World history :
When should we teach the world history to our students? Various educationists have given their opinion and there are two prominent schools of thought on this question:
One is of the opinion that it should not be taught to the children at the lower stages of education. This is meant only for the students of higher classes.
The Second School of Thought is of the opinion that the student must be given a glimpse of the world history. This is not likely to be difficult for them. On the other hand, they shall evidence curiosity in it.
They shall also acquire acquaintances with the ways of living of the people of the other countries. This view is based on the Child psychology. These thinkers also believe that while presenting a picture of the history of the world to the children, an attempt should be made to start this at the earliest possible ages to awaken greater curiosity in the students.
Now educationists have come to realize that at the secondary level of education history should be taught in the background of world history, however, such a background should be sketchy only and should not go into details of world history.
Since it will not be possible to take up world history at the elementary school stage because of the fact that at this stage the students are too young to understand things or even events beyond their immediate social and physical environment at this stage we can teach them the biographies of some prominent “world figures” or great men of the world. At the middle stage we can introduce the study of certain important social and religious movements. Finally a comprehensive course of world history in a sketchy form is taught at the higher secondary stage.
2. National history:
Nation is a geographical, social and political entity of the world the similar units in a country are known as regions ‘for the purpose of historical studies. However, such a view may not be quite useful in the present age of internationalism. It is this desirable to introduce the study of national history or regional history in such a way that it does not develop regionalism or provincialism in them V.A. Smith, a famous British historian has described India as “an ethnological museum in which numberless races of mankind may be studied”.
However, through all these diversities, these run a strong invisible under-current of unity that nourishes and sustains the tremendous variety. This is India’s cultural unity. While ancient cultures of other countries such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece etc., are now mere memories and have no direct link with the life of the present generation in these countries, our ancient culture and civilization have survived through the ages and still have direct bearing on our present day life. This is the most notable feature of our history. As Dr. A. C. Majumdar says, “Indian history and institutions form an unbroken chain by which the past is indissolubly linked with the present”.
Though we have varieties of traditions which differ from state to state and each state has a history of its own. It is the duty of the history teacher to present a comparative picture of these various histories but always keeping in mind to not let the unity or spirit of oneness slip of his hands.
3. Regional History:
Regions are the similar units in a country. Inspite of the fact that such a study of history may be desirable and useful it is more likely to prove harmful.
The usefulness of such a study lies in the fact that each region (e.g. in case of India, Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala etc.) have got their fascinating history. Different sages and seers, political leaders, social reformers from across the country have kept alive the great traditions of Indian culture and civilization in their respective areas, however, their teachings never remained confined to any particular area or region but effected Indian life as a whole.
4. Local history:
Though the term in self-explanatory but in history it does not necessarily mean only the history of a town or village in which the child lives. It definitely includes the history of the suburbs and the neighbourhood with which the child is familiar. The materials in and around his neighborhood will stimulate more interest in the child and it could be a profitable starting point in the teaching or history.
Though there exist innumerable monuments and other sources of historical importance throughout the length and breadth of our country but only resourceful teachers can make a full use of these in teaching effectively many of the important topics and events of national or provincial history. It is the duty of the history teacher to familiarize this students with their immediate surroundings and make the fullest possible use of such information in further enrichment of their knowledge of history.