What is a proper history course? One that meets Walter A. McDougall precepts:
If honestly taught, history is the only academic subject that inspires humility. Theology used to do that, but in our present era -– and in public schools especially -– history must do the work of theology. It is, for all practical purposes, the religion of the modern curriculum. Students whose history teachers discharge their intellectual and civic responsibilities will acquire a sense of the contingency of all human endeavor, the gaping disparity between motives and consequences in all human action, and how little control human beings have over their own lives and those of others. A course in history ought to teach wisdom -– and if it doesn’t, then it is not history but something else.
(Quoted from “Teaching American History,” by Walter A. McDougall. The American Scholar, Winter 1998, pages 101-102.)
For a brief biography of Walter A. McDougall, click here. For images of or relating to Walter A. McDougall, click here.