Memorize Timelines and History Facts?
In contrast to modern education, a Classical education seeks to reclaim the study
of the important people, events, and ideas that have shaped our history, as well as
an understanding of their impact on us today.
Are there some basic facts that
every educated person should
In the past, there was an understand- ing that all educated people would be familiar with certain events in the history of the world. Everyone
would know about the Flood, the Found-
ing of Rome, the Fall of Rome, The Cru-
sades, Magellan’s Circumnavigation of
the Globe, etc. Now, as part of the mod-
ern education experiment, there is no
longer consensus on the important events
in human history. In contrast to modern
education, a Classical education seeks
to reclaim the study of the important
people, events, and ideas that have
shaped our history, as well as an under-
standing of their impact on us today.
How do we know children can
memorize so much information?
Has it ever been tried before?
To get a sense of what children were expected to know in the past, let’s take a visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little Town on
the Prairie. In this book, Laura is about
14 years old. As part of a school exhibition put on to entertain and enlighten
the entire town, Laura is asked to recite a
summary of the first half of U.S. history.