World History Connected: The EJournal of Learning and Teaching
World history poses extraordinary demands upon those who teach it, challenging the talent of experienced instructors as well as to those new to the field. World History Connected is designed for everyone who wants to deepen the engagement and understanding of world history: students, college instructors, high school teachers, leaders of teacher education programs, social studies coordinators, research historians, and librarians. For all these readers, WHC presents innovative classroom-ready scholarship, keeps readers up to date on the latest research and debates, presents the best in learning and teaching methods and practices, offers readers rich teaching resources, and reports on exemplary teaching. WHC is free worldwide. It is published by the University of Illinois Press, and its institutional home is Washington State University. Editors: Heather Streets, Washington State University and Tom Laichas, Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences. Associate Editor: Tim Weston, University of Colorado. Funding for World History Connected, Inc. has been provided by The College Board and private donations.
Spring Issue, World History Connected, Inc.
While most World History Connected issues focus on a particular theme, we often receive outstanding work which will not fit inside a thematic box. Just for such work, we prepare a potpourri. This issue is our latest mix: a rich selection of essays, reviews, and commentaries that speak to a wide range of concerns important to world history instructors.
We begin with two particularly provocative essays. In "American Students and Global Issues", Peter Stearns stresses the urgency of expanding world history education in the United States. Eva-Maria Swidler, however, takes a different approach. After some years of teaching world history, Swidler has returned to her academic roots. In "Defending Western Civ", she reports on theunexpected rewards of doing so.
Here too are six fresh approaches to teaching world history. Commodore Matthew Perry's 1854 expedition to Japan has long been a staple of United States surveys; Joan Mortenson shows how this episode can serve world history students. Thomas Sanders also turns the U.S. curriculum outward, focusing on Benjamin Franklin's international significance. Justin Reich starts more recently, arguing that contemporary issues can provide students the most compelling entrée to historical study. Students will, Reich believes, benefit from walking with us from the present into the past.
Finally, Maryanne Rhett and Aaron Whelchel each explore innovative teaching resources. Rhett's focus is the graphic novel. This genre, once associated with comic books, now includes such historically resonant works as Art Spiegelman's Maus, Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and Joe Sacco's Safe Area Gorazde. Rhett shows how such sources can better serve our classroom goals. Whelchel introduces recent developments in historical simulation and video gaming. If you last looked at interactive historical simulations back when SimCity and Oregon Trail were new, you are in for some real surprises.
As always, WHC's regular features provide ample opportunity to reflect on curriculum and methods. In his thoughtful essay, guest columnist Zenon Wasyliw's puts revolution at the center of the world history curriculum. James Diskant, in the third installment of his series on world history and local community, explains how he's provoked students to discuss the consequences of changing cultural and political values. Tom Laichas assesses the impact of history, reason, and the "empire of fact" on modern schooling.
Wendy Eagan presents visual sources that challenge students to compare Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Finally, Fritz Umbach reviews four films for classroom use, the first such reviews in World History Connected. With this issue WHC again adds to a growing list of articles, reviews, interviews, and columns. You can search them all from any page in WHC. In addition, we invite you to browse WHC's back issues, available from the History Cooperative via our home page; look under "Archives".