To Whom it May Concern:
Hello. My name is Jillian Jackson, and I am a proud AP student who took AP World History my sophomore year of high school. I am writing to you because I have been made aware of a recent proposed change to the AP World curriculum to only include the period 1450 CE - present day.
I understand that educators are concerned about covering 10,000 years of history in one school year, an admittedly daunting prospect. However, I believe that eliminating half of the course material (the first three units) is not a proper solution. Here's why:
The first three units of the current class cover the world before Europeans really came to power: before they started the Triangle Trade, wiped out the Mesoamerican peoples, and began their imperialism in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Only including the more Eurocentric units of later history does not provide a full picture of the world's diverse peoples and powers.
Learning about the Middle East through Mesopotamia completely changes the Eurocentric view of the region, and reading the "Epic of Gilgamesh" with my class helped us understand how concepts of religion, friendship, and masculinity have changed over time. One thing that I value about AP World History is that it shows changes and continuities over time.
It's hard to compare and contrast the "Epic of Gilgamesh" with more modern western literature if students never learn about it. It's hard to understand the longevity of the Chinese dynastic system if students only learn about its last 500 years. It's hard to elevate African history to its rightful place of respect when people like Ibn Batutta and Mansa Musa are omitted.
The proposed cuts do not make the history of the world more accessible to students, although that is their intention. They further perpetuate the idea that world history is made up of "a bunch of irrelevant dead white dudes", which is a disservice to the study of world history itself.
Please do not approve the new course from 1450 CE to present day, and come up with a new timeline that is more inclusive and comprehensive.
Thank you for your time.
Former AP World History and AP European History Student