Saturday, January 24, 2004

Teaching World History: The Global Human Experience through Time.

Teaching World History: The Global Human Experience through Time. This is a decent article which touches on the importnace of the study of world history.

From the site:

World history is the study of human history around the globe through time. World history stretches beyond the boundaries of nation-states or civilizations to form a macro history of the human story. Just as the history of the United States is more than the history of 50 individual states, world history is the study of the global human experience and changes in that experience through time.

World historians study global forces and large historical themes such as climatic change, the spread of religions, and the expansion of the market economy. For example, Columbus in world history is not simply the story of Columbus discovering a "new world." Instead it is the "Columbian exchange," a story of human migrations, transatlantic trade, and the exchange of plants, animals, diseases, art, and technology between the eastern and western hemispheres. World history enables us to improve our understanding of how humans have interacted with each other and the planet in the past to shape the present.

World history became an established field of study with the founding by historians and educators of the World History Association in 1982. This field is in its infancy. Scholarship in world history, as in biological research, is expanding rapidly because of international, collaborative research via the Internet; the increasing number of resources available to world historians; and cross-disciplinary studies with anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers, and others in the social sciences. Globalization of the market economy and the development of the international "pop" culture with its bewildering amalgam of many cultural traditions have increased the demand for world history. Yet much remains to be learned. And that is the excitement of world history. When world history class becomes a laboratory where teachers and students form a partnership to investigate what is known to question the unknown, the study of the human story escalates from passive memorization to inquiry and discovery.

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