Week 1: Welcome to AP World History!

An Inquiry Into the Nature, Reasoning and Scale of Story-Telling, History & Historiography

Welcome to AP World History with Mr. Cameron! After introducing some basic course logistics like the syllabus and course website, we’re going straight into engaging some historical reasoning skills & disciplinary practices that will stick with us throughout our semester.

1) Analyzing historical evidence: Why Study History – Historical Reasoning Activity (and the PPT…).  Also: QUIZ: How Good Are You At Detecting Bias?  Mr. Cameron looks forward to spending more time with primary and secondary source analysis; more on that next week.

2) Historical reasoning skills are handy even while addressing a subject that many of us take for granted: what does earth look like?  But let’s problematize the whole concept of geography and cartography, shall we??  See: Geography & Cartography as Historiography. Let’s record the major physical and topographical features of our lovely planet; then we may begin with an inquiry into a discussion of CARTOGRAPHY and METHODOLOGY as tools of historiography.  

3) One piece of methodology inherent in this course relates to how we conceptualize the THEMES of history.  Let’s spend a bit more time with the THEMES of AP World History by Categorizing the SECSE themes!!

4) The historical reasoning skill of contextualization.  In an effort to help us understand the chronological RANGE of APWH, we need to consider the timeline of human events leading up to the point where AP College Board wants us to begin our curriculum with Big History, the Cosmic Calendar and our APWH Focus using the BIG HISTORY TIMELINE.  Where do humans fit in within the broad context of life on earth?? …within the broader context of our universe?

5) Finally, we’ll get organized into our Unit-by-Unit Regionally-Specific Groups.  Click your class period to sign-up: PERIOD 1PERIOD 3PERIOD 4.

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Transitioning from Big History, as inquired into by PBS’ Eons YouTube page, we can then adjust our historical time scale from the geologic to the human scale.  Even though it’s not a major focus of the AP College Board’s curriculum, Mr. Cameron is fascinated by the evolution of humans.  Recognizing the importance of the cognitive revolution and collective learning, how did homo sapiens out-compete the other six human species that existed 100,000 years ago?  One answer might lie in our ability to run – Christopher McDougall: The Humanity of Running.  To problematize the cooperative efforts innate in collective learning, we can read this account of a historian chronicling a constant tool of division among people of earth – Robert Sapolsky: How Your Brain Hates Other People, and How to Make It Think Differently.

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Foundations KC 1: Big Geography and the Peopling of the EarthThroughout the Paleolithic era, humans developed sophisticated technologies and adapted to different geographical environments as they migrated from Africa to Eurasia, Australasia, and the Americas.

Growing archaeological evidence suggests some mixing of different bi-pedal species in the early paleolithic period.  An NPR article from 2013 investigated a new discovery of inter-species breeding; the article was followed-up in 2018 with the (SECSEE?) title of Ancient Bone Reveals Surprising Sex Lives Of Neanderthals.

HOMEWORK: *note ‘due’ v. ‘by’