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Preservation in the Schools

WHY PRESERVATION EDUCATION? 

Historic Presrevation has come of age in South Carolina.  In February 2000, Governor Jim Hodges issued an executive order creating the Governor's Task Force on Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism with a goal for "making South Carolina #1 in the nation in preserving, interpreting, and promoting histoirc places.:  Since 1940, South Carolina has lost more than 300,000 historic structures due to reasons such as urban sprawl and industrialization.  Though these threats continue to grow, South Carolina still has many historic resources to call her own.

In order to prevent future loss of South Carolina's irreplaceable heritage, it is important to teach young people how to protect and appreciate our collective past, for they are the future of historic preservation.

Preservation education is more than teaching children to protect and appreciate the past.  Preservation education can give young people a sense of who they are, where they come from, and what their role will be in today's local, national, and global communities.  It is also a process by which young people learn to observe, interpret and analyze information from many areas including art, mathematics, science, and social studies, to name a few.  Most of all, preservation education is fun!  It necessarily incorporates direct experiences that can bring even the most unmotivated student into a new realm of discovery.

Preservation Education is the key to understanding the timelessness of human experience.

The built environment is an architectural legacy which we have inherited from many different cultures.  When a young person sees a building and can recognize that the ionic columns on the front date back to ancient Greece, history becomes relevant, not just something else he has to read.  Furthermore, the built environment can demonstrate the value of cultural diversity.  A structure is simply a group of ideas blended together to make a comprehensive whole.  Preservation education has the ability to take a single concept and develop it into a world of thought.  We need Preservation education in our public schools.