COLUMN: There should be better education about our leaders


Ellen Dooley

Ellen Dooley, Columnist

Every year in February, we hear about having this random Monday off. There is probably someone on television trying to sell you a new mattress or car too. Your primary school teachers probably made you color a picture of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln too. But why?  

Apparently just because some man was elected to office, we need a day off school and a new car. Why should we celebrate all presidents when some of them were truly terrible leaders? In our history classes, we learn about some terrible things that some of our presidents did.  

There were presidents who dropped atomic bombs on countries, hid racial discrimination scandals, or even hung out with Jeffery Epstein. There are multiple presidents who should not be celebrated. On the other hand, there should be presidents that should be praised. For example, President Barrack Obama should be celebrated. He was the first African American president and that is something that should be celebrated.  

We are taught about every president. Do we remember half of them? Nope. We are taught this because it just needs to be taught. It is in every history curriculum. Why are we teaching just to teach? Everything that is taught needs to have meaning. 

If we choose only to teach about our nation’s leaders just to make sure students remember obscure facts – there is no purpose. Although it is important to know our history, we need to teach it with a purpose. 

If we teach about every president, we need to know what they did and their effects on our country and even other countries. We need to know their impact on society today, even if it was a hundred years ago. There needs to be purpose. There should be cause and effect, as well as a problem and solution.

We also should not teach presidents around just President’s Day. It is important to know key figures, but we should know who led to those key figures. Who was in the office that inspired that person to run or to run against them? All these questions should be taught at age-appropriate levels.   

We all know the phrase that history repeats itself. History repeats itself in presidents also. Teaching what these leaders did, and their impact will allow students to make decisions for the future. It will teach future leaders how to lead our nation and bring us into an age of prosperity.  

Teaching about our leaders needs to include those who were key for our nation, and those who were not key for our nation. We need to learn more than George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The education about our leaders should be purposeful and inspire leaders to come.  History does in fact repeat itself, therefore we need a purposeful history education.  

Ellen Dooley is a sophomore special education standard major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].