Why should we teach the next generations about the history of the world? This is a subject that embraces all humanity, not just certain nations, ethnic groups, or civilizations, for the purpose of: knowing who we are, preparing to live in the world and attaining cultural literacy.
- Knowing Who We Are. Learning about the history of the world connects us as individuals to all of humankind. We all share, for better or worse, the same historical background: what we’ve done and not done, and what we’ve discovered, shared, imposed and impressed upon all those who have come after. Just as our ancestors have done this, so too will we influence our future. We all share one great community, that is, Earth, upon which we must influence as responsible citizens.
- Preparing to Live in the World. The study of world history prepares young adults to become informed and mindful citizens within their community. By bringing attention to the historical events of nations, civilizations, and cultural groups we can better understand the differences among them. With this in mind, “a person can in some measure think, speak, and write about world issues and problems intelligently and confidently.”
- Attaining Cultural Literacy. With the gift of language, common to all human beings, we have the ability to learn from one another and pass along knowledge. To communicate, regardless of the language being spoken, requires that we share a common collection of knowledge. “World history is shared knowledge that citizens, whatever their country of allegiance, need to function on our planet in the twenty-first century. The complexity of human interrelations today means that cultural literacy must be global in range and depth.”
Strand 2: World History
A study of World History is integral for students to analyze the human experience through time, to recognize the relationships of events and people, and to interpret significant patterns, themes, ideas, beliefs, and turning points in American and world history. Students should be able to apply the lessons of World History to their lives as citizens of the United States and members of the world community.