Skip to Content

Dunn, Ross E. "Constructing World History in the Classroom." In Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, edited by Peter N. Stearns, Peter Seixas and Sam Wineburg, 121-40. New York: New York University Press, 2000.


This chapter discusses three models for teaching World History: the Western Heritage Model, in which students learn the shared heritage of an essentialist history about our Western civilization; the Different Cultures Model, or the Western Heritage Model augmented by feel-good multiculturalism; and the Patterns of Change Model, in which intellectual rigor is used to understand the interlocking themes of change and continuity.  Dunn advocates for the Patterns of Change Model firmly rooted in the discipline of history, which moves away from the limitations of national and spatial boundaries for understanding history.  Learning world history through this model is based on addressing historical questions that explore the “interaction of the pieces of human history” and lead to a more contextualized understanding of global historical processes.

Samantha Cutrara