Programs and Practices: Students’ Historical Understandings in International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and Regular World History Courses


  • Di Ryter Oklahoma State University


Historical Understanding, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, World History


World history has become increasingly important and has often been a required course for high school students in the United States. This multi-case study provides examples and descriptions of students’ demonstration of historical understandings. It also includes multiple perspectives and experiences of world history students and teachers, and analyses of International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and regular World History program curricula. Methods and data sources used in this study included participant observations, focus group interviews, student artifacts, and program curriculum documents. The types of historical understanding varied among the three World History programs’ courses, ranging from identifying cause and effect relationships to the inclusion of multiple perspectives in history. The most unique type of historical understanding displayed by students was the acknowledgement of historical humility in International Baccalaureate History. Findings of this study have implications for pedagogical and curricular approaches to teaching world history. 

Author Biography

Di Ryter, Oklahoma State University

Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education

School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership