17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, February 4, 1913: We had an exam in General History this morning. It was a review of all we had gone over this year. I was so afraid I’d make a sorry mark, so I began to review but I didn’t get over it all. I got some things wrong, but then I know I got more right. At least I think so.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Did Grandma need to memorize dates for the exam?
Here’s what the Suggestions for Teachers section of a hundred-year-old text-book had to say about memorizing dates:
In conclusion, I will touch on the question of learning dates. These should be memorized by all students. It is well to bring as many events as possible into relation with a memorized date. The few students who have a ready memory for dates can be encouraged to remember most or all of them; but the majority of the class should not be burdened with more than are necessary for a correct general perspective of the centuries.
Outlines of General History (1909) by V.A Renouf
Would a history teacher today agree or disagree with this suggestion?
The book also included some sample questions that teachers might use. I did a previous post that included a few of the sample questions: