SmileTutor Blog Tutors Tutoring Tips Top 5 Reasons Students HATE History – And what you can do to change that

Top 5 Reasons Students HATE History – And what you can do to change that

It’s sad to admit but I’m sure teachers worldwide would have to agree that many of their students are not a huge fan of History. Most students can’t quite grasp why they need to retain historical information that they don’t feel like they’ll end up remembering five years down the road.

It is unfair however for history to be viewed in such a negative light. History is not only an important subject, it’s also informative and interesting. While shifting your student’s mindsets won’t happen overnight, it’s most certainly possible. You’d be pleasantly surprised at how a few changes can make your students fall in love with history.

Below are five reasons you might hear from students as to why they hate history and how you can go about changing that.

History is boring

The most common reason as to why students hate history is because they find it boring. Let’s face it, most history classes are not conducted in the most interesting way. Learning history either involves lectures which consist of the teacher rambling on about the events that took place or students reading many chapters of a thick book. History classes can also involve students watching a history documentary that was filmed many years ago.

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If taught correctly, history doesn’t have to be boring. There are many ways to teach history to make it interesting and exciting. Students also tend to learn better when classes are more interactive. An example includes incorporating games such as a roleplaying session of an event that has taken place in history. You can even have the students choose a topic about history that they may want to learn more about or zoom in on the more unknown parts of history to pique their interest.

Once your students are engaged they’ll be more inclined to keep learning history and class will no longer be boring. Instead, they’ll find it fun and start to view history in a more positive light. 

History is just about dead people

A big misconception about history is that it’s just about dead people. Most history lessons involve students being only exposed to topics about individuals that existed in the past. However, history is so much more than that. There’s history on so many other subjects that the possibilities are endless.

You can find out about how electricity, automobiles or even how shoes came about. Even technology that we’ve come to be so reliant on has its own history. It’s inaccurate in categorizing history to being just about dead people.

You can shift your student’s mindset from that by having them understand how history applies to the present as well. Talk about political changes, how human rights have shifted, technological advances and much more.

History is just the memorization of people, places, and dates

It’s certainly true that history involves memorizing a lot of information such as places and dates. However, the notion of just mindlessly memorizing all this information is wrong. Students shouldn’t be trying to shove information into their minds just for the sake of it.

It’s important for students to have a good overall big picture of the event that they’re trying to memorize. With that, they’ll have a better understanding of the events that took place and be more inclined to remember it instead of trying to mindlessly store information. Once they’ve gotten the big picture, it helps for students to learn the significance of the event that took place and how it’s impacted the future.

With a better understanding of the event and its actual importance, it won’t just be about memorization. In fact, students will be more inclined to retain this information. 

History is all lecture and text reading 

If your students are attending history classes that only consists of lectures and reading massive amounts of books, it’s no wonder that they’ll find learning about history a chore. There are so many other ways to learn about history and the best way involves allowing them to be directly exposed to history.

You can arrange for a walking tour around the city, bring them to a museum or even plan a scavenger hunt. If you prefer something that’s more indoors rather than outdoors, you can research online for some internet history games that they can partake in. Perhaps you could even do a competitive game show style quiz with history questions to get them going. You can also introduce crafts where they can create something from the past and showcase it to their fellow peers.

There are so many other ways to teach history either than through a lecture or reading a book that can make learning fun for everyone.

History is never relevant. Ill never use History in my lifetime!

Even though it is a fact that history happened in the past, it’s far from irrelevant. The notion that history will never be used in your lifetime is untrue. After all, without the past, there wouldn’t be a future.

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If it wasn’t for events that had transpired in the past, we definitely wouldn’t have access to a lot of what we have now. History is also used as a way for us to assess our past failures and successes. We peer into history to see what mistakes we can prevent from happening again and what successes we can capitalize on. History also helps us understand the world on a much deeper level. We can learn about how other countries were developed or how a different country’s culture has evolved.

It’s imperative to show your students the bigger picture and allow them to see that history extends far more than the past and permeates into our daily lives.


Either than the ways mentioned above, there are so many other ways to also keep history alive and interesting for your students. It’s all about packaging the subject in a way that’ll keep them excited, expanding their knowledge and mind and making them understand the importance of history to their future.

Want to motivate your little one to learn better at school? Here are some ways you can do that:

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Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.