FAQs for Teachers

The answers provided below are intended to present the reader with summary information.  More details, including specifics about standards and the professional development model, are available elsewhere in this website or by contacting the alliance office at UCLA and Pitt.  

What is the Alliance for Learning in World History (ALWH)?
The Alliance for Learning in World History is a collaboration of educators and history scholars organized to advance the teaching and learning of world history in classrooms—in the U.S. and in every part of the world. The Alliance is anchored at the University of Pittsburgh, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). It links leading practitioners in world history scholarship, curriculum, teacher preparation, professional development, and educational research.

How does the ALWH serve social studies teachers?
Our objective is to better enable secondary social studies teachers to meet the basic standards of world history, to continue developing their strength in that teaching, and to sustain such teaching even while working within state curricula that are Eurocentric or that organize the past in terms of comparative cultures.  To accomplish this, we offer professional development programs, materials and curricula for teachers’ use.

Describe the ALWH professional development model.
Our extensive professional development model is designed specifically for secondary social studies teachers.  It is conceptualized and oriented to address our recognition of a near-absence of teacher preparation experiences that center on world history content or pedagogy.  Our research has led us to focus specifically on the following aspects of world history education:

Appropriate coverage of historical events, eras, cultures, and other phenomena

Understanding of world history knowledge

Teacher materials and practices

Our program and its workshops are based on standards that promote:

The application of historical thinking

A deepening of teachers’ content knowledge over time, space, and topic

Understanding of central concepts and themes that are central to world history

Understanding of new knowledge on how students learn history

Does ALWH align its content with state standards and the Common Core?
In a word, YES!  Our world history approach and conceptual framework are founded on several decades of research, and our standards (listed above) have been developed to encourage teachers and students to think more carefully about the world and its inhabitants, from prehistory to the present, rather than to assuming the subject to be merely a study of different civilizations, regions, and nations.  Our integrative and holistic approach is based on the formulation of challenging world-scale historical questions rather than merely deciding which civilizations and cultures are or are not important.  This design is highly compatible with the Common Core and fits with the objectives of many state standards.

Does ALWH post ready-to-use lessons, units, and teaching strategies for teachers?
We plan to make tangible resources available to teachers everywhere. For now, the primary function of the website is to outline our mission, describe characteristics of a full program in professional development, provide contact information of workshop providers, and promote the teaching of world history in this dynamic, engaging manner. We are excited to see how these theoretical frames will lead to practical lesson ideas and materials. 

What is the “Global World History Curriculum” like?
Our Global World History Curriculum is the culmination of decades of research in the areas of world history and teaching, and is centered on the concerted work of world history and pedagogy experts from around the world.  The curriculum is closely aligned to the Common Core, and emphasizes the development of skills related to historical thinking and recognition of multiple perspectives in the past.  Through generally chronological investigations of multiple scales of time, space, events, and eras, the curriculum is to promote a reconceptualization of the way we study and learn about our world and the history of its inhabitants

Who do I contact if I would like to participate in a PD program?
If you are interested in participating in a professional development program organized or sponsored by ALWH, we recommend you first discuss your needs with department heads and/or school administrators, and then give us a call.  At the University of Pittsburgh World History Center, Katie Jones will be happy to assist you (412-624-3073, jonesskh@pitt.edu). At the UCLA National Center for History in the Schools, Marian Olivas can assist you (310-825-4702, molivas@ucla.edu).