Trevor Packer, The College Board

 

Dear Trevor,

 

The current controversy, though unresolved, does show that the existing AP World History course has a dedicated core of supporters among teachers and academics, and has a strong reputation among historians generally. This active support confirms the basic strength of the course and the distinctive advance it has brought to education in the social sciences.

 

I offer a reminder that the College Board, in the early days of APWH, invested significantly in professional development for teachers. I led, at the Northeastern University World History Center, the 2000 APWH National Training Workshop for 36 nationally selected teacher-presenters, and led the 2001 group of about 8 scholars and teachers who created the AP World History Best Practices Guide, as well as producing an additional 13 teaching units. These investments were important in jump-starting the course.

 

At that time, the College Board was investing in world history when others would not. Colleges taught the course poorly; general world history courses in secondary schools were commonly assigned to teachers of lowest rank. In contrast, the steady growth of APWH has shown that a major curricular innovation is possible—one that addresses new knowledge, new pedagogy, and social needs. AP World History has advanced itself—overcoming pedagogical and organizational disputes—and by example has brought up the level of world history instruction in other venues.

 

The timing of the currently proposed cutback, at a moment when the national walls are rising on every continent, is unfortunate. It would be better if the College Board could find a way to reaffirm the strength and breadth of the APWH course for the next generation. That will take imagination and, above all, a monetary investment. More than any other institution, the College Board is well placed to rededicate itself to expanding the positive results arising from the remarkable educational advances brought since 2001 by the AP World History course.

 

Patrick Manning

Andrew Mellon Professor of World History, Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh

Past President, American Historical Association

 

 

Patrick Manning

Andrew W. Mellon Professor of World History, Emeritus

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Past President, American Historical Association

Phone: 1-617-435-6540

Web: manning.pitt.edu