I'm working with my department to re-design the 7th/8th grade curriculum to be an American History curriculum with a focus on the globalization of the world. The 7th grade year would start in 1400 and go to about 1900 and the 8th grade year would go from 1900 to present. It used to be a survey of U.S. history from 1400 to 1960 in the 7th grade and a world history course from pre-history to 1400 AD. We're trying to put together the course so that it is through the lens of American history but not so" Americentric" so that it covers much more of a diverse range of perspectives than a traditional U.S. survey course.

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts in general or ideas for resources such as textbooks or primary documents.

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There are a lot of resources at the site Teaching A People's History.
Great, thanks!
I think your ideas are noble. Redesigning a curriculum is an inspiring challenge. But at the same time, I'm not the kind of person who immediately jumps up and says, "Go for it - sounds great - don't let anyone tell you no!" like many of the people on forums like this.

I don't understand your basic premise. How can the focus of a history curriculum be Globalization? There's far too many other things that need to be discussed in a history curriculum that have NOTHING to do with globalization. I think it's the perfect idea for an elective course, though: American globalization starting with the Industrial Revolution and working to the present.

Before you worry about textbooks and primary sources, you first have to make sure the foundation is solid.

Good luck with this. Feel free to contact me if I can help in any way.
Hey Chris-

Thanks for the message. I didn't go into much detail about the curriculum in fear of creating too long of a post and having people not read it, and maybe I wasn't too clear about our premise!

Here's what we are thinking of doing. We're at a school that emphasizes diversity in its student population and global service, and when talking to administrators about curriculum changes, they said that they do not want a two year U.S. history course because they felt it would neglect the diverse population of our students and their backgrounds. So, we are thinking about a two year course that is an American history course, but not teaching it in a vacuum, but really examining it as how it relates to what is going on in the rest of the world (I'm probably leaving out a lot of stuff, but here's the general gist):

For example:
Year one (7th grade) - Approx. 1350 to 1900 -
Unit 1 - Globalization 1
Topics: What is going on in Europe (England, Spain, France, Portugal) that leads to them exploring and setting up colonies, who is in the New World pre-Columbus and their culture, the "discovery" of the new world, colonization of the Americas (not limited to North America, but examining both north and south), and so forth, probably going up to about 1763 for the first unit.

So it's probably not too different than other curricula that are out there, I'm guessing.

So maybe the term "globalization" is a little misleading, but we want to emphasize the idea that globalization is not limited to what we consider globalization today, and that these connections between different places in the world began much earlier than the 20th century. We hope to not simply focus on globalization and to include those other important topics in history, but to place them ideally in the framework of a global world.


Does that make more sense?
Yes, this does make much more sense. Thanks for explaining.

It sounds like it has potential, but you'd have to work closely with history teachers K-6 and 9-12 to make sure you aren't creating huge gaps in concepts that need to be taught, but aren't.

I'm not sure of specific resources that would help, but if there are any online, you'd likely find them either at Free Tech for Teachers or Larry's Site

Good luck!

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