A Guide for Students on the Value of Leaving Certificate History
History In-Service Team.
Why study history?
If you are a ...
Career relevance
History gives you many insights into human behaviour and a deeper understanding
of current affairs that i...
History at Leaving Certificate Level
By choosing Leaving Certificate History, students will be able to:
• Develop skills o...
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Guide for students on the value of l cert history

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Guide for students on the value of l cert history

  1. 1. A Guide for Students on the Value of Leaving Certificate History History In-Service Team. Why study history? If you are a student in Junior Certificate class or in Transition Year, you will soon be deciding on your subject choices for Leaving Certificate. The choices you make are important as they may influence your future career or third level study options. Before you make up your mind, why not think about choosing Leaving Certificate history? Relevance to modern life Much of popular culture, whether in films, literature, or theatre, draws on history for inspiration. Many of the issues that affect the planet on a daily basis have their roots in history also, and knowing this history helps us to understand them. History also helps to deepen our understanding of events and people, as it gives us context and a sense of perspective. This may explain why history books and films are so popular nowadays with people who did not study the subject in school, but who now enjoy it as a hobby and can see its relevance. You will encounter many issues and events, both in Irish history and in the history of Europe and the wider world, which have helped to shape the world we live in. You will also learn about the role of many interesting key personalities, from various walks of life, in shaping the past. Awareness of human behaviour The study of history involves learning about the experience of human life in the past through the investigation of evidence relating to such experience. This study will give you insights into ways of life and ways of thinking which may be very different to your own, and will develop your understanding of the human condition and human motivation. History is unique in that it is the only subject that investigates how aspects of human life and human institutions have undergone change over time. You will learn about how such change has taken place in Irish history and the history of Europe and the wider world. Your study will deal with political, social, economic, cultural, religious and scientific history. Cultural inheritance Studying history will develop in you an appreciation of the society in which you live and of other societies as well, both past and present. You will also develop an awareness of your historical inheritance and gain insights into your own identity and tradition. You will develop understanding about different concepts that are relevant to life today, such as democracy and human rights, power and authority, and conflict and reconciliation. ICT use You will encounter many interesting resources to help you to study history effectively and to enjoy it. The Internet has an enormous range of valuable historical websites, and there are many CD ROMs and other electronic resources that you will enjoy as well. The study of history will therefore develop your ICT skills, which are increasingly relevant in modern life and in the workplace. © 2007, History In-Service Team
  2. 2. Career relevance History gives you many insights into human behaviour and a deeper understanding of current affairs that is relevant to many careers. History also develops an ability to think independently without jumping to unsupported conclusions. Employers tend to look for people who are independent thinkers, open-minded, disciplined, good at problem solving and able to pick out the essential from the trivial. The highly respected UK ‘Which?’ magazine wrote about history as follows: “historians are regarded as having had an education that trains their minds to assemble, organise and present facts and opinions and this is a very useful quality in many walks of life and careers…history is an excellent preparation for very many other jobs”. Communication skills Studying history will sharpen your communication skills. In learning to write about history, you will learn about the importance of supporting your argument or point of view with relevant evidence. You will also learn how to organise your thoughts into balanced, coherent, focused, logical responses. Historical writing helps you to develop your skills in organising ideas, expressing clear opinions and reaching a balanced conclusion. These skills will help you in many other subjects as well as in many careers. Research skills You will encounter a variety of types of sources when you study history, such as maps, political cartoons, memoirs, public records and photographs. History will help you to develop your research skills, including the ability to locate historical data from different types of sources, and to evaluate and present such data. You will also be encouraged to look at issues from more than one point of view and to understand that evidence is open to more than one valid interpretation. You can also explore your own personal interests in the research study, where you research and write a report on a particular aspect of history that really interests you. Local history is just one area that you can investigate here, where you can learn about the history of your locality. Analytical skills It is not only the skill of finding useful information that history provides. It is how to use it when you have found it. Historians must be aware of the dangers of bias and propaganda. You will explore how to evaluate the usefulness of particular sources and their limitations, how to detect bias and identify propaganda. You will sharpen your critical thinking skills, which will be of benefit to you in any career and in life generally. In conclusion Choosing Leaving Certificate history will allow you to acquire a unique combination of skills and insights that will develop you as a person and help to prepare you for a future career and to participate fully in society. © 2007, History In-Service Team
  3. 3. History at Leaving Certificate Level By choosing Leaving Certificate History, students will be able to: • Develop skills of history, which are transferable to other subjects and to careers, e.g. researching, note-making, communication, analysis, discursive writing. • Study the people and events of the past from a wide variety of perspectives, including political, administrative, social, economic, cultural, religious and scientific. • Learn about the experiences of ordinary people as well as the powerful and influential. • Learn more about the experiences of women in history. • Choose from a range of topics dealing with Irish history and the history of Europe and the wider world. • Specialise in topics allowing for balance of breadth and depth of learning, with nominated case studies allowing for study of documents in class. • Have the opportunity to study wide range of documents relating to topics, including government papers, official records, newspaper extracts, cartoons, diary entries, memoirs. • Engage in ICT use, including many websites and CD-ROMs relating to topics for study. • Work independently on the research study, which will allow them to research a subject of their choice that is of historical significance. This will allow students to engage in self-directed learning and develop their critical skills. • Choose a subject of personal interest from outside their chosen Field of Study if they wish, dealing with any subject of historical interest. • Work in the area of local history subjects for the research study, with students using local sources and engaging in research on aspects of the history of their own locality. • Submit their research study report before the exam, thus having chance to gain up to 20% of the overall mark before sitting the terminal exam. © 2007, History In-Service Team

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