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.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


TO THE POLE: THE DIARY AND NOTEBOOK OF RICHARD E. BYRD 1925-1927 This is a review of a book edited by Raimund E. Goerler. It is reviewed by Michael Lorenzen.

From the review:

In 1996, Ohio State University archivist Raimund Goerler discovered a previously unknown diary and notebook of Richard Byrd while cataloging a collection of Byrd's papers. This slim volume (166 pages) is the result of that discovery. The diary had been used by Byrd from 1925-1927 to record his controversial flight to the North Pole. Many have questioned whether Byrd actually accomplished this feat and this diary sheds more light on the controversy.

In 1926 Byrd announced that he and his copilot Floyd Bennett had flown over the North Pole. This had never been done before. This claim was questioned at the time because many did not believe that Byrd's airplane could have reached the pole and returned in less than sixteen hours that Byrd claimed. After Byrd's death, it was reported that Bennett confessed that he and Byrd had only flown out of sight, circled around, and then returned when enough time had passed to seem plausible. Further, a meteorologist calculated that Byrd would have needed a favorable wind to make to the flight in the time he did and that such a wind was lacking on the date of the flight.

Interspersed throughout the text of the book are entries from Byrd's diary. This includes Byrd's account of the controversial North Pole Flight. After reading this account, one has to ask whether or not Byrd accurately recorded events or if he deliberately fabricated the entries in the diary. As Byrd never attempted to publish this dairy, it would appear this is an accurate account.

In addition to the text of the diary, Goerler has written five chapters detailing Byrd's life. This includes information on his early life, the Greenland Expedition of 1925, the North Pole Flight of 1926, and the Transatlantic Flight of 1927, and Byrd's life from 1927 until his death in 1957. The book also has the text of the report of the North Pole Flight that Byrd submitted to the National Geographic Society and to the Secretary of the Navy. A chronology of Byrd's life and bibliography are also included. Unfortunately, the book lacks an index.

Richard Byrd lead an interesting life. This recounting of his life, as well as the indepth examinations of several of his expeditions (including the controversial North Pole Flight), make for excellent reading. The thinness of the volume also allows for the book to be read in only a few short sittings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Using Historical Statistics To Teach about World War II.

Using Historical Statistics To Teach about World War II. Statistics can be used to teach history in many ways. This essay looks at how to teach World War 2 using them.

From the site:

World War II was a turning point in global history, an event that had a large and lasting impact on many people and places across broad areas of the earth. Compared to other wars, World War II involved the largest armed forces, the longest battle lines, the most destructive weapons, the most casualties, the most destruction of cities and other human assets, and the highest monetary expenditures. Thus, World War II deserves a prominent place in the middle school and high school social studies curriculum.

Using historical statistics is an often neglected but potentially fruitful way to teach about the causes, conditions, and consequences of World War II. This Digest presents a rationale for using historical statistics to teach about World War II, discusses instructional methods for doing so, and recommends World Wide Web resources to facilitate teaching and learning with statistics about World War II.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

George W. Bush

George W. Bush This is an interesting biography of American president George W. Bush.

From the site:

George Walker Bush (born July 6 , 1946 ) is the 43rd and current President of the United States , succeeding Bill Clinton in 2001 . His first term expires in 2005 . He is currently seeking a second term, which would last till 2009 ; see George W. Bush presidential campaign, 2004 for a description of his campaign.

Bush was the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000 and is a lifelong Republican .

George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in Midland and Houston , Texas . He has four younger siblings: Jeb , Neil , Marvin , and Dorothy . A younger sister, Robin, died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of three.

Like his father, Bush was educated at Phillips Academy ( September , 1961 - June , 1964 ) and Yale University ( September , 1964 - May , 1968 .) While at Yale he joined Delta Kappa Epsilon (where he was president from October , 1965 until graduation), and the Skull and Bones Society . He played baseball during his freshman year and rugby during his junior and senior years. He received a bachelor's degree in history in 1968 . Although he had an SAT score of 1206, 200 points below that of the average Yale freshman of 1970 , he benefitted from an admissions policy which gave preference to the children of alumni (his score was at roughly the 70th percentile nationwide). He then earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School , making him the first president to hold a MBA degree.