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Why study history?

History fires students’ curiosity and imagination

It invites them to ask, and helps them answer, today’s questions by engaging with the past and imagining and speculating on possible futures.

History presents students with the dilemmas, choices, and beliefs of people in the past.

It connects students with the wider world as they develop their own identities and sense of place. Students engage with history at personal, local, and international levels. They investigate the histories of their communities, New Zealand, and the wider world.

History is a research-led discipline

History encourages an informed understanding of the origins of our diverse society in Aotearoa New Zealand. Central to this understanding is an awareness of the history of the Treaty of Waitangi and of the Treaty’s principles, values, and ongoing relevance.

An awareness of history inspires students to become confident, questioning, and empathetic individuals.

History is dynamic and exciting

As students develop their understanding of the nature of historical inquiry, they employ a robust methodology. They learn to ask and answer important questions, evaluate evidence, identify and analyse different interpretations of the past, and substantiate their arguments and judgments. Students can see why they are learning and what they are learning, and they can debate the significance of the history they learn.

History prepares students for the future

It equips them with knowledge and skills that are valuable and useful throughout life. These include research techniques, the skills needed to process and synthesise varied and complex materials, the skills needed to give clear and effective oral and written presentations, and the ability to articulate ideas and make them clear to others.

With these skills, students enhance their employ-ability and are able to participate actively and critically in their societies. For more history-related career information see:

Last updated August 31, 2020