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Panel Calls for Broader World History Lessons

November 11, 1994|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal education panel today will release a new curriculum guide for teaching world history to students in grades 5 through 12 that asks teachers to redirect their scope beyond old Europe and toward "a genuine globe-encompassing history."

The new guidelines encourage a refocusing on non-traditional hallmarks of history such as China's Song dynasty, which developed paper currency and gunpowder and printing, panel members said.

The standards, which are voluntary, will retain the study of the Greek city-states and the Roman Empire but add the Mauryan Empire in India and the Olmec civilization, which influenced the Zapotec and Mayan civilizations.

The standards were already under fire from conservatives who say they belittle Western civilization in the name of multiculturalism.

The architect of the guidelines--the UCLA Center for History in the Schools--said it stands by its plan, which was approved by hundreds of historians and educators.

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