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  Scholarship and Essential Questions

In July 2004, the New York State Education Department convened a Global History and Geography Advisory Committee to identify the components that should be incorporated into the Global History and Geography Online Resource. The committee strongly emphasized the importance of providing local school districts with a firm grounding in current world history scholarship. To quote Marshall G.S. Hodgson:


The attempt to study…(world) history is plagued with many problems, but we can set aside at least some that have supposed to plague a universal history. We need not be deterred, of course, by the sheer quantity of past events in so wide an area. We are not concerned, after all, with each of the events that have happened in each nation, but only with those which have involved major segments of mankind, and so set a framework to all our historical experience. Those, while very important, can be presumed to be relatively few. For purposes of perspective (these need not be the only purposes of a world history), but surely they are important...


The authors identified in this component have written important works in world history.  More importantly, all of these works contain hundreds of anecdotes and stories that Global History and Geography teachers can use in their classes. To put it simply, these are the writers who have captured the big picture of world history.

Closely tied to world history scholarship is the development of essential questions. Essential questions emphasize the fundamental big ideas of teaching and learning Global History and Geography. Prominent educators including Heidi Hayes-Jacob, Jay McTighe, and Grant Wiggins have provided definitions and examples of essential questions, which have implications for curriculum developers, teachers, and students. For the purpose of this Global History and Geography Online Resource, essential questions reflect:

the New York State Learning Standards for Social

themes and concepts that recur across the Global History and Geography core curriculum

content/skill connections and linkages .

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