6 Reasons to Teach Pre-History
First, teaching pre-history and contrasting the study of it with the study of history helps students understand what we mean when we say "history" verses other studies into the past. History is what mankind wrote about itself, whereas archaeology is what remains intentionally or unintentionally from humans of the past.
Second, 95 percent of human history occurred during what we call the hunter-gatherer period. Zooming out to examine history in this context gives us a humbling realization of how small we are and how limited our understanding of the past really is. One of the things we know about this period is that the small bands of people who traversed the earth were far more egalitarian than their “civilized” relatives because they had to be.
The history curriculum in schools is insufficient in their representation of women’s contribution to past events. This blog aims to address that. While teachers want to include women’s history, they have not had access to the training, modeling, and resources to do it effectively. Women make up fifty percent of the global population, and yet are in a small fraction of events discussed in school. Women’s choices have been harrowing, infamous, and monumental, and yet their stories are so rarely associated with mainstream history. Ask your average high school graduate, or even college graduate, to name 20 significant men in history and the list flows easily. Ask that same person to name 20 women and the names drag, if they come at all. This case in point leaves us with conclusions like, “women did not do as much” or “women’s stories were not recorded.” These assertions justify our own indifference to the history of half the human race, and could not be further from the truth.