While teaching history, it is desirable for the teacher to keep following points in his mind.
(i) His entire attention remains focused on the child.
(ii) He should be clear about the subject matter being taught.
(iii) He should use a proper teaching method for presenting the subject matter.
In history teaching there is no any one method that may be suitable for all topics and all levels. In the absence of it the teacher has to use his own judgment to select the most suitable method. Further history is an ever growing subject and every day now material is added to its subject matter. Thus teacher has to take extra pairs to collect teaching aids; he is required to use different teaching method at every different stage.
This situation can be described, as under; in the words of an eminent scholar “History perhaps beats over other subjects in the intensity of discussion and the heated argument that has centered round its teaching method in recent times.
General Principles :
In spite of all the changes that have taken place in the course of history, it cannot be denied that there are certain basic principles on which the teaching of history rests. Some general principles are as under:
(1) From Concrete to Abstract:
While teaching history, the teacher should proceed from concrete to abstract in the lower classes, concrete facts should be presented. With the growth in the mental age of the students, the teacher can resort to presentation of abstract facts. He should proceed from easy to complex, keeping in view the mental age of the students.
(2) From Known to Unknown:
The second maxim of the teaching is that the teacher should proceed from known to unknown. The teacher tries to take advantage of what the students know and then tries to relate the new experiences with the old ones. In this process, the teacher should take reverse course. He should try to present the known facts to the students first and then take them to unknown arenas.
(3) Chronological Order:
To make subject intelligible to the students, the facts should be presented in their chronological order. This is all the more important in the teaching of history since history has a scientific outlook so it is necessary that the facts’ of history should be presented in a systematic and chronological manner.
(4) Co-relation of Facts and Events:
Facts of history should not be presented independently and in an isolated manned an attempt should be made to present various facts in a correlated and co-ordinate manner with the events so that it may look like a chain of events. Every event and fact should be based on the ‘Law of Cause and Effect’. Such a presentation is intelligible and understandable to the students.
(5) Pendulum Method:
This method is useful at every stage of education. The pendulum moves backward and then forward. In other words, it establishes the connection of the pass with the present. Similarly, the teacher of history should try to connect the past events and experiences with the present circumstances. If teacher succeeds in coordinating the past with the present, his teachings- shall be interesting
All the facts that are presented before the students should be perfect in themselves. It is not sufficient to present an outline only. All the events should be presented in their full form. This does not mean that the students should be burdened with information’s only. They should be given only that much which is necessary. These events should be presented in a scientific manner and systematic order. An attempt should be made to shift the important from the unimportant and present what is actually needed.
Teacher should make a balanced use of the teaching aids at every stage of education. Pictures, charts, maps, etc., are the life blood of the teaching of history. They make the history teaching effective and interesting. At no stage should the teacher try to discard these things.
(8) Mastery over the Subject:
The teacher should have perfect command over the topic that he is teaching. He should have prepared the lesson thoroughly well so that he may present it before the students is an interesting and attractive manner. On the other hand, the students should also be kept active. They should not be made passive partners in the game. Occasional question and dramatisation will do well.
(9) Keeping the Dry and Terse Matter Off:
History has certain uninteresting and dry elements in it. Dates, names of rulers, places of events, etc., are not at all interesting to the students. The teacher should, therefore, try to make the subject interesting to the students and, if possible, do away with the unnecessary dates and names.
(10) Time Sense:
At every stage of education, the students of history should be given time sense. Unless the students have developed a proper sense of time, it shall not be possible for them to co-ordinate and correlate knowledge of various subjects that they have acquired. In the absence of the ‘Sense of Time’, their knowledge shall be lopsided. It shall neither be completed nor systematized.
(11) Question and Answer:
In the present methods of teaching, question and answer method is supposed to be good and interesting. The teacher should try to apply this method and make the teaching interesting. If the questions are put up to the students, they shall remain active and try to grasp the matter. The questions should be framed in an artistic manner. They should be framed that they awaken the curiosity
(12) Oral Teaching:
In junior classes especially, oral teaching is very useful. At this stage, text-books are not very much needed. In this respect, a scholar has aptly remarked:
“In the junior stage especially, the oral lecture is the chief factor in presentation, as text-book is not essential. In the middle and senior secondary stages, there is definitely a need for the text-book because at this stage solid facts are given to the students.”