Genealogy & Education

I remember reading an article a while ago about Henry Louis Gates wanting to bring genealogy and DNA research to school curriculum.

Many African American students know little about their ancestors. Given the chance to examine their own DNA and family histories, Gates argues, they are likely to become more engaged in their history and science classes. As they rescue their forebears from the anonymity imposed by slavery, students begin to understand their own place in the American story.

Could you imagine how much you would have learned in school if they would have introduced genealogy as a part of history and science? By making history and science personal and showing students how they can use this in real life, will open so many doors for the children. Not just African-American children, but all children.

How can Genealogy help?

Well, let me ask you this. How is your memory now that you’ve been doing genealogy? Mine is excellent. Remembering the facts of my ancestors come easily. However, if there is something I can’t quite remember, I know exactly where to look.

How is your knowledge of history? Mine is better than it was when I was in high school. Facts regarding the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil War are things I can now say I understand. Why? Because I have an ancestor to tie to this information. When you know an ancestor was involved in something major in American history, you tend to remember that more.

I think it would be a great service to add this to a school program. I hope I will see this added in my lifetime.

2 Replies to “Genealogy & Education”

  1. This is so true Allum! I can’t think of a better means of engaging a young persons attention, while also creating a not-so obvious way of generating dialogue around the subject of slavery.

    It’s a way of examining the impacts of slavery on a personal level, without having to be on the offensive or defensive side.

    And honestly, knowing & owning your lineage is empowering. You can’t help but puff up a bit when you realize the strength that came from our Ancestors.

    They were warriors. They were as the kids say, “soliders”!:-)


  2. Excellent idea, one I have thought of many times. My granddaugther is 9, loves Genealogy and I have often thought it would be great if it was incorporated in their education. I know I would have enjoyed and retained much more history. I was so very bored with it all and now I wish I had payed attention. Great post.

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