World History

Student-centered issues can generate interest in world historical events.  World history classes encompass a wide-range of geographic regions and historical eras – from Egypt, Rome, India, Mesopotamia and medieval England.  For this section, the three following examples will cover a world history class looking at Renaissance to Restoration England.  However, there are ways in which the creative teacher can incorporate many different historical lessons. 

The Urban Agenda incorporates World History in its international component, the International School-to-School program.  Working within both the UA and ISS formats allows World History teachers to have their classes communicate with schools worldwide.  Students gain further understanding into foreign cultures and history by exposing themselves to these cultures.

Some examples of issues applied to the study of World History:

1. Homelessness could be used as a spark to teach lessons about the rise of the

middle class and the proliferation of the cities in England.  Of course, this historical movement was also prompted by enclosures, when the nobles ceased to farm the land and began using to graze sheep for wool.  This movement put the Irish and Scottish land-working serfs into the cities, essentially homeless. The study of homelessness through the ages in a particular region or time frame can be linked to modern understandings of homelessness. The relationship of homelessness to indentured servitude and/or slavery can just as easily be explored for a better appreciation of the present conditions in society.

 2. The issue of disease is one that the student of world history studying medieval England would not miss.  The Black Plague was one of the most wide-spread plagues in history – surpassed only by our most recent diseases.  Student’s can look at how historically societies dealt with diseases such as plagues and leprosy. They can learn how the societies of different regions structures, technology, and even religion were central in their mechanisms for dealing with such crises. Hence, the student is not only learning about the historical roots of a given society and culture, but they setting a foundation for taking the analytical tools develop through there analyses to modern world –“those that ignore the past are forever doomed to repeat the same mistakes.”

3. World history often includes a study of technology.  Gun control is one issue that incorporates technology.  The technology came into prominence during the same time in Europe as this continent and others like Africa was being colonized.  Gun control was fundamental to the societies during its development. The ability of an individual to bear arms was a right to defend oneself –whether this defense is from an oppressive state, a lack of state protection from outside elements, or from nature.


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