A teacher must know various aims of teaching history for the following reasons:
For the proper teaching of a subject it is essential to have knowledge of aims and objectives of teaching that subject. It is also true for the teaching of history.
In the absence of clear aims and objectives, the teacher will be leading his pupils as a journey without destination.
Unless we determine the aims, it is not possible for us to work out a plan for attaining those aims. Once the aims and objectives are determined, then various methods of teaching are evolved according to these aims and objectives. Formulation of aims also helps in keeping the teacher and taught on the right track. Aims and objectives indicate the way and point to the ideas. No doubt aims are idealistic, but they are indispensable.
Writing in this context Henderson says, “we teachers, need to know where we want to go. Otherwise we may walk a long way, get very tired and accomplish practically nothing”.
For determining the aims of teaching any subject we have to take into consideration die utility and usefulness of that subject. We have material as well as spiritual aspects in our life. For a successful spiritual life it is essential that we have a well-founded material life.
The aims and objectives of teaching various subjects are normally very similar and they are generally guided by economic and social consideration the aims and objectives of teaching history include all the aims and objectives of education. These aims and objectives of teaching history have undergone changes with the change in the philosophical thinking of the time and changes in social and political practices.
In the nineteenth century the effects of Karl, August, Muller and Von Ranke bore signs of present day aims of teaching history. Towards the close of the century, if one surveyed the different aims of teaching history, one would find the aims frequently mentioned to be accruing from historical instruction were: discipline of the memory, the imagination, the judgement; the setting up of ideas of patriotism, of conduct, of social service; the illumination of other studies especially geography and literature; and the establishment of intimate relations with current events.
Apart from these, training in historical evidence; training to develop habits of accuracy in dealing with facts; skill in putting facts together, and insight into causal relations; training in the use of books and the cultivation of a discriminating taste for historical reading were also considered important.