Dear Board of Trustees,
My name is [redacted], and I am an AP World History teacher from Las Vegas, NV. I would like to begin by thanking you for your willingness to hear teachers’ concerns about the proposed changes to the AP World History curriculum.
I know you've been getting a lot of criticism about not testing on Periods 1-3 content and I can understand how incredibly frustrating that must be. From the teacher’s perspective, we NEED to see this pre-1450 content in the Curriculum Framework for not only our administration, parents and students, and for aligning our state standards to AP’s curriculum- for some schools, this proposed change would mean that AP World would not satisfy graduation requirements. So here's an idea I think gives a nice compromise to College Board and AP teachers.
It's my understanding that in an earlier iteration of AP World, Period I and Period II were part of a combined "Foundations" unit that's basically "To 1450 CE." My idea would be to maybe jam together Periods 1-3 in a new "Foundations" unit for, say, 20% of the AP Exam? John Greene said that it took Columbus permanently connecting the Western and Eastern Hemispheres for a truly world economy to be created. My proposed "Foundations" would assess the students on the pre-1450 conditions that set the stage for this "world" economy (Mansa Musa to show Italian merchants in Egypt there was gold in West Africa, the Indian Ocean trade network da Gama wanted to get into, the Silk Road that Columbus wanted to go around, and the Asian gunpowder and sailing technology that made European voyages possible).
This way, time would be freed up for the post-1450 content the College Board wants to emphasize and the vital pre-1450 context is not lost. It would also incorporate the religions content more organically rather than "flashbacks" to explain post-1450 developments.
We are begging you to have College Board officially keep some curriculum and content pre-1450. Teachers know how important covering this information is for increasing overall student understanding of global processes and especially that skill of contextualization. We also do not want students’ first impressions of the Americas, Asia, and Africa to be of subjugation to Europeans, which is what it would be if we start our course at 1450.
Thank you again for your willingness to listen to other teachers' and my concerns.