A 21st Century Resource Center

The Mercer County Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center is located on the West Windsor, NJ, campus of Mercer County Community College. We are dedicated to providing the most current resources on Holocaust and genocide education for the 21st Century classroom. Learn more about us at

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Story in History is What Counts

War Horse author Michael Morpugo has an awesome article in the UK Daily Mail titled: When I wrote War Horse, I didn't hide the horror of battle. If children are to love history, we must tell them the brutal truth.  

Morpugo argues against the education system removing the "story" from History, instead "...judg[ing] success solely on whether children can pass exams, with little time to ensure they leave school with a passion for learning that will remain with them for life."

Technological and political advancements mean that today's generation of students are, by and large, less directly impacted by war than their predecessors.  To put it in plain terms: If the Cold War seemed unreal to Generation X, what must World War II seem like to today's high school students?

When the realities of war become nothing more than facts on a page to be memorized, tested on, and all too quickly forgotten...what is the point of teaching about the war in the first place?

And if human experience can be so easily boiled down into a trivial pursuit, what lesson does that teach our students about the weight of their own lives and actions on the world scale?

History matters because people matter.  When we forget the importance of history we forget one of history's greatest lessons: That lives are meant to be lived, not lost and valued as gifts to the world, not by the blood they shed on battlefields or in death camps.

Read Morpugo's article in the UK Daily Mail.

Then, join the MCHGRC as we discuss War Horse: How One Book, One Play, One Movie can teach peace.

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