Teaching Material Culture and the Dutch Golden Age in AP World History

The Netherlands in the seventeenth century was the center of a series of economic and social transformations that would redefine the way Europeans viewed the world around. This first age of truly global commerce saw the exchange of objects of commerce, objects of beauty, and objects of science. This moment cannot be understood without considering Dutch historical trends alongside the simultaneous power of the Scientific Revolution, the rise of the Atlantic World, and the nature of global exchange. Through the exploration of changing material culture in this moment, students can be exposed to deeper historical analysis and higher order thinking.

Experiencing the Silk Road in Dunhuang

At the end of September I traveled to Dunhuang, in western China, with a group of high school students. There were some great experiential connections to the AP World curriculum. History is more than just a skill or content from a book. History can be experienced; There is value in looking for connection to the past in order to understand the human experience. Trips like this can plant seeds for future historical interest and inquiry in ways that my classroom cannot.

AP World: Teaching Imperialism in Unit 6

Unit 6 is one of my favorite units to teach in AP World, and is arguably one of the most important for understanding contemporary global issues. The unit's content demands thinking about how we teach imperialism as much as what we are teaching. Student engagement is important, but also building historical empathy and training students to think critically about sensitive issues.