Throughout “Why History Matters” Cornfield discusses the importance of history in terms of understanding the true human experience and condition. History connects events, people, beliefs, and experiences to the present and students can create a larger, more critical view of things that happen today. When discussing why history is so important to study Cornfield says, “to study the subject for the invaluable in-depth analysis and the long-term perspective it confers upon the entire human experience”. Education allows people to gain knowledge about the world they live in and teaches how to build upon that for the future. Cornfield also brought up an interesting point that the human mind can do more and experience more than the physical human body. This shows the importance of education and history specifically where our minds are able to travel back in time to periods of evolution and to see change throughout the past.
Last semester, I took a history class called Nazi Germany and a constant theme throughout the course was the importance of teaching difficult and horrific moments of the past to ensure that history does not repeat itself. Humans learn from the past and see different outcomes to behaviors. When encountered with similar behaviors or experiences humans adapt their responses based on their knowledge of the past. Cornfield’s article brought up many similar arguments showing the importance of teaching history in order to give people a strong and knowledgeable foundation to create change for the future. This can be done through a good educational system and compelling teachers who provide students a “vital collective resource” that teaches about the past and also promotes growth for the future.