I had a really good conversation with another instructor at my university, who came into my survey classes yesterday to advertise a comparative international economics course that she will be teaching in the spring, that is the entry class to a 4-week summer exchange program with a university in west-central China. She's an economist, and for a long time I've wanted to do an economic history course that covered both the economic history of a region (the US, probably in the first go-round) but also economic theories and how their development is tied to changes in the economy as well as new ideas and philosophies.
She thought that would be a cool way to collaborate. Since she is from China, we also talked about my curiosity regarding the different ways world history is taught in different parts of the world at different times. I'd REALLY like to get my hands on some history textbooks from other parts of the world and compare the ways they tell the stories of world history. What they highlight, what they don't even cover. And, if possible, how that has changed over time. My new friend suggested that the way China teaches history today may be quite different from the way it was taught when she was in school in Nanjing a couple of decades ago.
The question, of course, is how to get my hands on history textbooks from around the world and how to read them if I DO manage to get a bunch in foreign languages. If they're ebooks, I imagine I will be able to get them machine-translated. That doesn't necessarily result in the best prose style, but it makes it possible, usually, to understand what's being said.
I also did a bit of web and JSTOR research, and started a new Zotero folder called World History Comparison. Research Rabbit found a bunch of similar titles, but it will be a while before I can get to many of them. I DID, however, ask some people and groups such as the OE Global community on Twitter, and I want to extend that request to anyone who watches this video. I know a number of my subs and viewers are in India and I've noticed on Twitter and on Abhijit Chavda's channel that there's quite a bit of controversy about the way Indian History is taught to Indian students. That interests me a lot, but what I'm PARTICULARLY interested in is, how World History surveys throughout the world cover world history. If part of this involves continuing the narratives introduced by colonizers, like the Aryan Invasion myth, that's relevant to my question.
There's also apparently a "Global View of History" that has influenced the way world history is taught in China. I'm going to start trying to dig into this a bit. If my viewers have any titles of world history textbooks they could share, I'd really appreciate it. Whether you think they do a good job or are behind the times, I'd like to compare not only between regions of the world, but if possible look at change over time -- it's what we historians love to do!
I also just joined MoodleNet, which is a public beta of an online community that Martin Dougiamas mentioned he was building at the OE Global open education conference in Milan in 2019. It's supposed to be a place (as he originally described it then) where educators around the world can upload and download open educational resources. I linked my Open Textbook Library pages for my American Environmental History and Modern World History textbooks. I hope there will be some community forum pages developed, so I can ask people in this worldwide open ed community to suggest titles to me as well.