History of Real People
When many students think of history class, they imagine long lectures filled with meaningless dates and rote memorization of names and battles with little to no application to the real world. History does not have to be this way, and it’s a shame that so many students go through their formative educational years without ever appreciating history for what it truly is: the story of God’s most favored creation–people!
At Liberty we believe that history deserves a central role in developing students into Godly and intelligent leaders. To that end, we approach history as more than names and dates; we use history as a tool to learn about ourselves and our future. To do any less would be a disservice. If this is our goal, then what does a history class at Liberty look like?
Our students experience the joy of interacting with primary source documents whenever possible. By reading for themselves the direct thoughts and words of the people who lived through the events, students experience those events in context, and best of all, they begin to relate to them. At Liberty, we strive for excellence in understanding, and this can only be achieved through a careful and inclusive study of characters throughout the ages. If history is the study of people, then a history class must by definition be primarily about people!
Students in the 6th grade class were recently assigned to write a letter in American Colonial-era language, announcing the end of the Revolutionary War. Inspired by the role-playing exercise, one girl went above and beyond the assignment by writing the letter in calligraphy and burning the edges of the page. Her letter reads:
Dear Citizens of America, Rejoice! For the war is over. We have proven our worth and the flag of surrender flies about the British. Only now do we know that some shall not rejoice with us. Our fallen brethren shall always be held in remembrance. Their families will be held close, the wounded shall be given respect, and any that endured the suffering, hardships, and the losses shall be given the highest honor in knowing that they helped make us free. Freedom! After our victories and losses, and our gains, triumphs, losses, and deaths; we were not pushed down and have gained what is rightfully ours. We now triumph and say: “We are FREE!”
Thomas Baker Brown
Building Moral Leaders for Tomorrow
Not only does our history program focus on people, it lifts our students’ eyes to God. In our classroom discussions, we seek to see God at work in the story unfolding before us. Timeless truths about human nature, economics, liberty, and the God who created them all can be discovered if we look carefully. Our experience with history can shape not only how we look at the world, but our response to what we see it as well. That’s why our history program at Liberty is taught with a passion for wisdom and understanding, not merely knowledge. Tomorrow’s events will need leaders who can respond with insight and wisdom – and we’re preparing Liberty students to become those leaders!