D.C. European History Conf. 2017

My friend and colleague shared this with me on social media. Coming from her this compliment is a big deal.

“Edward Carson did an amazing talk on Marxism and Urban Centers. I miss our time together on the AP Euro test development committee. I always wondered what he’d be like as a teacher. All I can say is his kids are very lucky to have him.”


AP National Conference, 2017

If you are attending the Advanced Placement National Conf. in D.C., my AP European History presentation is, Marxism and the Transformation of European Urban Centers, which takes participants on a narrative exploration into the contextual realities faced by the urban working class of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Participants will read short primary and secondary passages, reflecting the point of view of the bourgeoisie and how their relationship to the state set a class-conscious response via the rise of Marxist doctrines. What did it mean to be urban and poor without political or economic power? What did it mean to be working class and yet fail to make a working wage? The premise of gentrification before it was termed will showcase the challenges faced by urbanites, while their cities were transformed to reflect the desires of the state. We will examine the significance and impact of housing, education, public transportation, income distribution, leisure, and urban planning through the use of historical thinking skills.

Historical Thinking Skills Text

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I am excited to receive our text in the mail today. John and I spent a great deal of time thinking about the historical thinking skills teachers and students will be able to explore in their classes with this work. It does a great job forcing historical content to drive the needed skills. I dedicated it to my parents, brother, and wife — Janette Carson​. I am a lifelong teacher who spends hours thinking about my students ad how I can help them. I am not perfect — but man do I try.

Here are some reviews:

“One of the biggest problems teachers will face in teaching the redesigned AP European History course is finding quality resources to reinforce information and to get students to think and make connections. There are numerous examples in this book and I think it will only enhance student learning. Historical thinking skills can be challenging for students and this breaks it down and makes it much simpler for students to understand so that they will be more successful in both the course and on the AP Exam itself.”

Tina Gentry, History Teacher, Spring High School

“Carson and Irish provide an excellent resource in helping students master the historical thinking skills needed to reach their full potential in AP European History. It provides educators with numerous resources to help implement and build these skills with their students.”

Tara Gruber, AP World History, AP European History, Allen High School

“This new workbook doesn’t just explain the required historical thinking skills necessary for success on the AP European History exam. It shows the student and teacher how to apply those skills effectively throughout the four periods of the course curriculum. Using specific examples and clear graphic organizers, the authors have revolutionized the way study skills can be taught, giving the student a clear idea of how to use each skill and how the skills interrelate with and complement one another.”

Pamela Wolfe, History Department Chair, Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Former member of the European History Development Committee

“A workbook, such as this, would prove incredibly invaluable to those AP students looking to demonstrate, refine and improve their expertise. I am confident in saying this workbook will do an exceptional job at addressing the new AP European History curriculum and what it entails.”

Michael J. Poirier, Social Studies Teacher, Nashoba Regional High School

“An invaluable and practical teaching tool that covers all the important Historical Thinking Skills for AP European History. An enormously valuable guide from two highly regarded veteran AP European History teachers.”

Jay Harmon, AP History Teacher, Houston Christian High School

AP US History Course Changes

I will admit that motivated students who get a chance to engage in historical discussions in my classes are fortunate. My students discuss slavery in the textbook, as well as the historiographical arguments and debates that shapes textbooks. Again, textbooks are for students. It gives them a basic narrative to follow. Great teachers introduce students to the complex arguments that shapes their historical thinking skills. This matter changes nothing for my teaching nor what my students read. Give this article a read: AP US History Caves to Conservatives, Will Down Play Slavery and Focus on American Exceptionalism. I am not sure where to start with the problems found in the title.

History Institute I, 2013

I just completed another excellent history institute at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Those who attended my week-long session were great in contributing to the objectives I laid out for us. I really enjoyed it. I will say the day came feel long as we started our first session at 8:00 and did not complete our day until 4:45. I did very little this past week outside of the conference. I was tired — I must say. The highlight was attending the faculty dinner with so many of my friends whom I only see at these conferences.


The director at the institute treated us to a wonderful Wednesday dinner at the popular Little Rock restaurant, Brave New.

Carson’s European History Institute at TCU

Just finished a great institute at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. The folks who attended were great! It was a busier week than I had anticipated, thus I found that I did not have as much time to do a number of other things. Funny, but I also thought I would have time to finish a paper I am drafting for a future conference; I did not even open the file.

I will be spending the next two weeks doing some research and writing for other projects I am involved in. Furthermore, it is my hope that I can put pen to paper in a way that will allow me to develop a greater synthesis on what I am doing. I love having time throughout the day to focus. That is what makes my summers so nice. I will leave for Fort Worth on June 8th. I am leading an AP European History Institute. Here is what we will be doing for the week:

Carson’s AP European History Summer Institute will focus on three elements. The first is a break down of the course and an evaluation of the historical literature used to shape its content. A great deal of literature used by members of the Test Development Committee will be presented in order to draw greater insight into both the skills and historical content required for student success. Secondly, participants will be asked to engage in activates that address students’ skill deficit. Here the focus shifts to document analysis, inferences, making historical generalizations, and drawing conclusions. Lastly, there will be a conversation focused around the most recent research in European historiography. Periodization schema as well as conflicts of interpretation will be addressed. In the end, teachers will be rewarded with a wealth of resources and knowledge regarding the Modern European History course.