TED Talk: David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes


One thing I am realizing through this class is that one of the reasons I love being a teacher is because I fee like I have an excuse or even an obligation to continue learning. A good example of this was being able to listen to David Christian´s TED talk about the history of the world. Since I teach early elementary school, the details and timeline of the beginning of the universe don´t fall under the content knowledge for the curriculum I teach. However, Christian´s explanation was easy enough to understand so I feel like I have a better idea about the topic.

usually, being reminded of how long ago the universe began saddens me because of how insignificant and new the human race is! I liked though, how Christian pointed out the difference in the human race and the rest of the universe before it: that human´s have language with which we can pass on knowledge. We do not have to rely on random accidental changes in DNA to make changes in the world. He points out though, that this power is not necessary a good thing because are quickly using fossil fuels and we have nuclear weapons.

Christian´s conclusion is rather optimistic, though. He wants the younger generation to know the big story of history well enough to be very aware of both the challenges and opportunities facing us. To this end, he is helping to create an online curriculum on big history. Evidently, he believes this is a need he needs to fill because students are not being taught this in school. In my small experience, the children are being given plenty of instruction on stewardship,conflict resolution, conservation, and civic duties, so maybe he sees the problem in lack of in-depth instruction at the high school level.


One thought on “TED Talk: David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes

  1. Bridget –

    I loved reading this post. Social studies is a huge curriculum that has the power to change the lives our students. Social studies also has the power to allow students to examine their own personal history and share their experiences with their peers. To further build upon this, as a social studies teacher, I firmly believe that I have the ability to promote self-discovery and self-identity in the classroom. To help promote this, there are projects that allow students to trace their heritage through DNA. It would be an awesome way to start the school year off where students know where their roots stem from. I cannot think of the project off the top of my head but I will certainly post here again once I locate it.


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