FAQs for Supervisors

What is the difference between a global curriculum and a regional curriculum in world history?
Secondary curricula created in the 1990s and labeled as “world history” mostly led students through a sequence of separate histories for various regions or civilizations, yielding complicated stories that made little overall sense. They have been difficult to teach and difficult to learn. The global study of world history, tracing the overall experience of human societies, follows new knowledge to provide a conceptually coherent view of social change over time. With adequate preparation of teachers, this can be a rewarding course for students.

Is a global curriculum in world history too big or too complicated for students?
Studying the world as a whole, over the long experience of humanity, is a serious task. But it is parallel to the complexity of the world of today in which students actually live. Studying the multiple issues of the past will help students grapple with the complexity of life after school.

How can a school system implement a global curriculum in world history?
A school or school system can identify world history as a target area for curricular improvement. The schools can provide solid support to skilled teachers of history, working with the Alliance to provide background and consultation and to select materials and consultants for teacher workshops that will bring advanced professional development in world history. The Alliance can help locate instructors for the course and can share examples of successful courses given elsewhere.

How can in-service teachers be prepared to teach a global curriculum in world history?
The Alliance for Learning in World History has developed and demonstrated a model course for professional development. This course includes a total of 50 hours of instruction: 30 hours of instruction on the “must haves” of teaching, and an additional 20 hours of further support for those same “must haves.” The course is modular, so that leaders of local professional development programs can adopt parts of it and reorganize them according to local needs and preferences.

What examples of global curricula are now available?
The Alliance does not specify a precise and authorized syllabus or comprehensive set of lesson plans. World history educators must have wide scope to design syllabi and instructional units that meet the particular needs and requirements of their schools, districts, and states. Nevertheless, as an excellent example, the Alliance suggest the World History For Us All online framework for a course.

How can professional development programs improve the teaching of world history?
Teachers can learn content and concepts for world history, and can learn classroom techniques that help students reason in world history and retain what they learn. Teachers can rely on the research on learning to propose activities for students that will enable them to compare, contrast, shift scale, and otherwise navigate the many issues in world history. They can implement assessment techniques that are appropriate to the thematic and conceptual learning in world history, in addition to factual evidence.

What materials are available for curricular support?
The primary focus of the Alliance is on developing materials for professional development courses rather than materials for direct use in classrooms. Effective professional development will enable teachers to prepare their own materials, designed for effective use in their classrooms. The Alliance will encourage teachers to relate large issues of conceptual definition and design to the concrete tasks of formulating course outlines at different grade levels, writing lesson plans, identifying resources, and helping students develop analytical skills specified in the Common Core and state or district standards

Can reliance on educational research assist in improving the instruction of world history?
Educational research can clarify  the effectiveness of various presentations of key concepts and can identify best practices in classroom activity, reading assignments, and assessment.

Can teachers conduct research on the learning of their students?
Teachers CAN conduct effective research. Especially by working in groups at a school site, they can define and carry out small research projects that will document the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to teaching and learning.

How does the Alliance make presentations of its program?
The about us page of the Alliance website provides an updated list of past and planned presentations by the Alliance.