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World history is here.

     In the year 2000, Ross Dunn treated us to an anthology entitled The New World History: A Teacher's Companion. Introducing the collection, Dunn argued that the new world history "is the search for answers to questions about the past in which the inquiry embraces whatever geographical, social, or cultural field is appropriate and in which conventionally defined entities such as nation-states are not allowed to limit the scope of investigation arbitrarily" (p. 6). 1
     Through its influence on teachers across the United States, The New World History has introduced tens of thousands of students to the work of the founding scholars who helped to create the field of world history and, through that scholarship, to the rewards of global historical study. Indeed, the "new" world history is now well established throughout the country. More than 34,000 students across the United States took the Advanced Placement World History exam in 2003, up 65% from the year before. College courses in world history are proliferating, as are Ph.D. programs. The Journal of World History, now in its 14th year, has been critical in establishing world history as an exciting research field, while H-WORLD and the College Board's AP World listserv link world history educators and researchers across the nation and the globe. 2
     We at World History Connected deeply appreciate and admire the Journal of World History for its role in developing world history as a rewarding, dynamic, and rigorous field of scholarship and teaching. JWH has championed integration of history's many sub-fields at a time of growing specialization. 3
     At the same time, we believe that a single journal can no longer do justice to the field. Both new and experienced educators face practical challenges integrating the latest scholarship into their classrooms. There is a need for a journal which helps bring world history right to the classroom. 4
     Our goals at World History Connected are ambitious. Primary among them is to bridge the long-standing divide between teachers in secondary and post-secondary education. At WHC, we believe world history educators at all levels have much to talk about, and much to learn from one another. We also aim to introduce teaching methods that have proven particularly effective in world history classrooms. Finally, we intend to provide our readers with the latest news in world history research and debates, with innovative scholarship directly relevant to a world history curriculum, and with reading, teaching, and archival resources. 5
     This first issue begins, fittingly, with essays from two of the field's most accomplished scholars, mentors, and teachers, William H. McNeill and Patrick Manning. We also feature a contribution by Yoshiko Nozaki, (University of Buffalo), about the latest developments in the Japanese textbook controversy over 'comfort women.' Ane Lintvedt, (McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Maryland) has prepared an overview of the state of world history education in the United States, and Jack Betterly (recently retired from Emma Willard School, Troy, New York), shares his innovative method for incorporating and evaluating discussion in the world history classroom. In addition, readers can expect book and film reviews along with columns on using primary sources in the classroom, converting Western Civ lessons into world history lessons, and on innovative technologies and resources. 6
    As we celebrate the publication of the first journal devoted specifically to world history instruction, we feel compelled to comment on the political challenges facing world history education. This past summer, Senator Judd Gregg (R, New Hampshire) introduced S. 1515--legislation that seeks "to establish and strengthen post-secondary programs and courses in the subjects of traditional American history, free institutions, and Western civilization." Dubbed the 'Higher Education for Freedom Act' (S. 1515), this legislation aims to remedy what Gregg believes is an endemic problem in our educational system today--namely, that fewer and fewer colleges and universities require the study of United States history or Western Civilization as prerequisites for graduation. Without such study, Gregg argues, "the people in the United States risk losing much of what it means to be an American, as well as the ability to fulfill the fundamental responsibilities of citizens in a democracy." While the Gregg Act does not specifically mention World History, it seems clear that such legislation would privilege the study of Western Civilizations over World History. 7
    As Ane Lintvedt's essay in this issue demonstrates, the rapid growth of world history education seem to confirm Gregg's suspicions that Western Civilizations courses are declining. But what does this mean? Will this trend erode American civic values, as Gregg asserts? 8
    As World History educators, we see the situation in a different light. We believe that World History education equips students with extraordinarily rich resources and analytical techniques for understanding European and U.S. historical development. 9
    We do not wish to minimize the importance of national histories, nor do we wish to replace the teaching of national histories with the teaching of World History. In fact, we agree that students know far too little about American history, and wish to support effective remedies to that deficiency. However, we see no contradiction between the goal of imparting strong lessons in American and other national histories and the equally important goal of teaching world history. 10
    As we launch World History Connected, we take great pride in the labor that so many of our colleagues and mentors have devoted to making world history the center of curricular change in high schools and colleges. We are particularly indebted to the founding members of the World History Association, who kept the idea of world history alive when it was not stylish to do so. We are equally indebted to teachers like Ray Lorantes, whose decision to bring world history into the classroom inspired many others to do the same. Carrying such a debt, we can only "pay it forward," building upon the work of teachers at every level to develop stronger world history education. In the end, it is the achievements of our students which will vindicate our work. It is to them that we dedicate this journal. 11


Heather Streets, co-editor

Tom Laichas, co-editor

Tim Weston, associate editor


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World History Connected (ISSN 1931-8642)

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