Renowned, beloved AP World History author talks to class


Mitch Davis

Chris Reilsono’s AP World History class.

Tyler Zeman and Mitch Davis

Students in Chris Reilsono’s AP World History classes got to meet the author of their textbook, Dr. Peter N. Stearns, over livestream Monday morning.

Stearns, who was at George Mason University, has become a bit of a cult figure in the class, mentioned throughout the year.

“It was fun to begin the liveliness with Mr. R,” Stearns said. “I love seeing good AP history teachers and students as motivated as you guys.”

Stearns lived in Pittsburgh for 26 years, teaching at Carnegie Mellon University. He currently teaches a class every fall at George Mason University.

Stearns wrote the book before the AP World History course was created, but his book has been used to study for the test because of all the information it covers.

Stearns gave advice to the students about life.

“Don’t do anything stupid, and the more of an impact you have on people, the better your life is,” Stearns said.

He also gave advice to the students for the AP Exam.

“I don’t have all the answers to the test and the test has become unpredictable more and more each year. But you should know the overall meaning of each time period,” Stearns said.

He acknowledged the difficulty of the exam.

“I think I would do well on the multiple choice, but I don’t know about the essay part,” Stearns said.

Reilsono has been in touch with Stearns since the beginning of the year, trying to plan the meeting.

“It happened earlier this year,” Reilsono said. “He was totally open to talking with the kids.”

The sessions took place during third and fifth period for the AP classes.

“The students are getting insight from an actual historian,” Reilsono said.