World History Education
The recent growth in secondary- and university-level world history education reflects that of the field as a whole. Secondary schools in the United States are now mandating the study of world history, and elsewhere in the world, historians and teachers are beginning to question curricula that celebrate the nation state. Lest there be any doubt, these are not revamped Western civilization or British imperial history courses: this is a new world history, truly global in its orientation. As one teacher puts it, ‘Rather than studying region by region, or Europe and the others, world history provides an opportunity to move the lens back aways and show how people interact with each other.’1 The appeal of world history is not hard to see. None of us live in truly isolated places, and current events — global terrorism, bank failures in Argentina, environmental degradation in the Aral Sea, MTV in Paris or Delhi, or the women’s movement in China, for instance — drive home the connections between peoples in often distant parts of the world.2 World history has the potential to be the most exciting course in the curriculum. Students become excited when they recognize that world history involves a great number of diverse peoples, that it does not have to focus on memorization of names and dates, and that it connects to the world they live in today. Others legitimate world history based on its ability to help students develop a worldview.
KeywordsMigration Europe Steam Amid Coherence
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