World History for Us All
An Electronic Model Curriculum for Middle and High Schools
World History for Us All
The Department of History at San Diego State University and the National Center for History in the Schools at UCLA announce World History for Us All, a web-based model curriculum for world history in middle and high schools. World History for Us All is available to all educators at http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu. No subscriptions, fees, or registrations are required.
K-12 history and social studies educators are looking for ways to teach world history that are coherent, logical, and engaging for students. World History for Us All offers an innovative model for conceptually integrated study of the human past from remote times to the present. To make the global past intelligible, teachers must define concrete subject matter, questions, time periods, and themes, then investigate them in systematic ways. Too often, teachers find themselves moving from one topic, country, and civilization to another arbitrarily and to the neglect of larger patterns of historical meaning. World History for Us All connects subject matter anchored in specific times and places to a conceptual frame of guiding ideas and organizational tools.
This framework includes
Rationales for study
Principles of selection
Conceptual overviews and background essays
A world-scale periodization
A guide to critical skills development
A set of themes and essential questions
This superstructure is then integrated with a logically organized selection of teaching units, including lesson plans, activities, handouts, assessments, and resources. All units and lessons on the web site will be available in PDF format for easy classroom use.
World History for Us All:
presents the human past as a single, integrated story rather than as multiple, unconnected stories of different civilizations and countries.
helps students relate the histories of particular civilizations and regions to world history as a whole.
helps teachers cover subject matter specified by district, state, and national standards within a conceptually coherent framework of ideas.
offers a treasury of teaching units and lesson plans.
guides teachers in addressing history from early times to the present without excluding major peoples, regions, or time periods.
helps students understand the past by linking specific subject matter to larger historical concepts and patterns.
Is founded on up-to-date research in world and comparative history.
Includes correlations to state and national standards and to widely-used textbooks.
Is applicable to either middle or high school classes and to either one-year or multiple-year programs in world history, culture, and geography.
The World History for Us All Approach
In developing world history courses, educators typically draw on a wide variety of resources. At one level, are the general guidelines put forward by education agencies and public interest groups. These include content standards, core knowledge guidelines, and topical checklists. On another level, teachers have a wealth of print, visual, electronic, and institutional resources and opportunities to help in developing specific units and lessons. World History for Us All integrates these two levels of resources by providing a specific, detailed intellectual and organizational plan for teaching and learning about the human past.
World History for Us All is founded on the rapidly growing body of scholarly literature in the field. This research employs innovative methods of analysis and interpretation to enrich our understanding of cross-cultural and global patterns. The model curriculum also draws on recent educational research on how children learn, interpret, and understand history. This work has shown that students remember and understand the past more effectively when they make cognitive links between specific subject matter and larger patterns of historical significance.
World History for Us All is a resource for all middle and high school classrooms. It draws substantially on the organization and content of the National Standards for History, Basic Edition (National Center for History in the Schools, 1997).
World History for Us All organizes the global past in nine major Big Eras:
Big Era One: Humans in the Universe (13,000,000,000 - 200,000 Years Ago)
Big Era Two: Human Beings Almost Everywhere (200,000 - 10,000 Years Ago)
Big Era Three: Farming and the Emergence of Complex Societies (10,000 - 1000 BCE)
Big Era Four: Expanding Networks of Exchange and Encounter (1200 BCE - 500 CE)
Big Era Five: Patterns of Interregional Unity (300 - 1500 CE)
Big Era Six: The Great Global Convergence (1400 - 1800 CE)
Big Era Seven: Industrialization and Its Consequences (1750 - 1914 CE)
Big Era Eight: A Half Century of Crisis (1900 - 1950 CE)
Big Era Nine: Paradoxes of Global Acceleration (1945 - present CE)
World History for Us All and AP World History
World History for Us All has been designed primarily for mainstream world history classrooms. Its unit organization and sequencing of time periods is different from that of the AP course, especially in its greater attention to paleolithic and ancient history. Its philosophy, however, is entirely compatible with the AP programís commitment to globe-encircling history. Because World History for Us All is an electronic resource and therefore highly flexible, AP teachers may profitably mine it to enrich their own knowledge of the global past and to develop classroom ideas and activities.
The World History for Us All Project
World History for Us All is an ongoing multiyear collaboration among middle and high school teachers, university historians, and specialists in educational technology. A core team of eighteen educators has guided development of the site during the past three years.
The project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ahmanson Foundation, the National Center for History in the Schools, and San Diego State University.
Project Director: Ross E. Dunn, Prof. of History, San Diego State University
Associate Director: Edmund Burke, III, Prof. of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Associate Director: David Christian, Prof. of History, San Diego State University
Project Manager: Laura Ryan. History Lecturer, Grossmont College
World History for Us All is a collaboration of SDSU and the National Center for History in the Schools (UCLA), Gary B. Nash, Director.
Two-Phase Release of the Model Curriculum
World History for Us All is a continuing project whose instructional resources will continue to grow in the coming weeks, months, and years. All major elements of the model curriculum for Big Eras One through Five will be completed in 2004. All elements of the curriculum for Big Eras Six through Nine will be completed in 2005.
Teachers and schools interested in piloting or evaluating all or part of World History for Us All are invited to email Laura Ryan, World History for Us All Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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