I am currently teaching Ancient Civilisations, which is great, and a subject I love. So far, we’ve covered Origins of Man, to which one of my students commented it should be Origins of Humankind, and she’s right, and hence that’s how we refer to it in class now. It was interesting to see the reaction from the class when it was discussed we came from one location 70,000 years ago. It made for a lively discussion.
We looked at the formation of Earth, from Pangea, the movement of the tectonic plates, changing land-forms to the present status of the continents. Here’s an interesting fact which we discussed; the continents are moving 1 centre metre every 10 years. A gradual shift, yet in thousands of years to come, the world will look very different.
Another important skill the students need to know is the difference between primary and secondary sources. We had a bit fun here where the students were asked to get photos, tickets, certificates from their lives, and put them on an A4 sheet of paper without any writing. We discussed if it was easy or difficult to identify who the person was, and how archaeologists sift through thousands of pieces of artefacts to learn about what they have found. We are now moving onto Ancient Egypt.
A student asked why do they have to learn about Ancient Civilisations. It was a fair
question, and I like it when my students ask questions that require going beyond the curriculum. My answer was it is important to learn about our ancestors, where they came from, their achievements, their culture and the legacies they left behind. We only have a term to teach Ancient Civilisations, and can only cover a certain amount of the curriculum, as we teach Politics and Law, Geography and Economics.
We have such a rich and diverse history, and I do believe we can learn from our ancient ancestors, and from their triumphs. They were the trail-blazers of the day. However, we don’t seem to learn from their mistakes, such as wars, racism, poverty, genocide, greed, tyranny, creating weaponry to destroy life. This cycle has continued from generation to generation since the advent of civilisation.
For an enlightened people and for all our advancements, we still have a long way to go.
Why do you think the human race continues to repeat the malfeasances of our ancestors?
Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.
Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.