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Vision Statement

The students in my classroom will discover how history impacts their modern world and look to

historical persons as inspiration to make changes for the better in their own lives and in helping

their communities.

Philosophy of Education

I. How I will Organize my Class

This class will be a World History course and the class will explore several overarching

eras in human history in chronological order while examining multiple themes of those eras. The

multicultural model means that the content of the class will not center on Western European and

Ancient Mediterranean civilizations but will instead focus on how all of humanitys civilizations

have contributed to the historical canon. This approach better suits the American classroom of

today and tomorrow. As immigrant populations expand and increase the same historical narratives

of Western European people will exclude these people and the underlying lesson will be that they

have historically been unimportant and are therefore unimportant themselves. This is unacceptable

and educating people about the contributions of many cultures will strengthen Americas

democracy by empowering more people than simply those of European ancestry. As Americas

people become more and more diverse themselves so does the history that it needs to teach. Several

elements of education that are essential for democracy that will be covered in this class include the

ability to apply knowledge to function in a democracy, the ability to engage in civil civic dialogue,

the differences between democracies around the world and throughout history, as well as the

instilment of civic virtue and a love of community service. This will be done in part by engaging

the students in higher level thinking and in Socratic dialogues where they will have to practice
democratic ideals like taking part in civil debates and respecting the opinions of others. An

instilment of civic virtue will be fostered by in class discussions of modern day issues and what

people can do to help.

In brief the class chronology will be divided up into eight different eras of human history.

The first will focus on the roots of human society and the human race as a whole and will cover

the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of time. The second era will cover the rise of the cradles of

civilization including the Fertile Crescent, the Indus River Valley, and Mesoamerica. The third era

will cover the civilizations of Classical Antiquity such as the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Persians,

and others. The fourth era will focus on the not only the fall of the Roman Empire but the rise of

powerful civilizations in China, Arabia, and the New World. The next era, the fifth era, will center

on the increase in contact and conflict between European, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian

civilizations. The sixth era will focus on the momentous joining of the Eastern and Western

Hemispheres and the worldwide consequences of European exploration and colonization. The

seventh era will focus on the reactions and growth of European Imperialism throughout the world

and ending with the First World War. The eighth and final era of the class content will be the

World Wars as well as the Cold War and many of its proxy wars following the end of the Second

World War. In short the scope of the class content will be the first Homo sapiens to the end of the

Cold War.

The thematic organization of the course will by synchronic meaning that instead of

focusing on one gigantic theme as it applies to the whole of history the course will focus on many

different themes as they apply to one era at a time. This approach will be better for the students

because focusing on one theme at a time places that theme in a vacuum and none of history has

happened in a vacuum. Historical change occurs due to the many contemporaneous agents that are
active during a given time and in many times due to forces that are completely beyond human

control. Several of the themes that will be routinely explored in this class will be the role of religion

in human life, world cultures and how they have contributed to one another, and the changing roles

of people in society. By understanding how these themes have evolved over human history and

how they have interacted with one another the students will be better equipped to look at similar

events occurring today and how the thematic elements of them are interconnected. By comparing

multiple themes at the same time it will allow for the students to compare and contrast the

similarities and differences between how these thematic elements impacted people in different

places and cultures around the world.

II. What I want my Students to Know and Be able to Do

By taking this class the students will learn various habits of mind befitting a historian, such as

critical thinking, historicism, and the importance of evidence and analysis in the process of doing


A. Habits of Mind (Heuristics)

The students will understand the significance of past events and how these events influence

their lives. They will also understand that the past shapes not only their public and private

lives but the lives of everybody around them and of society as a whole.

The students will learn how to analyze primary and secondary sources in order to locate

biases, agendas, and how to arrive at the truth among competing narratives. This will help

them learn how to spot similar biases and hidden agendas in modern journalism and media

and arrive at the truth on their own terms and not someone elses.
The students will also learn how to engage in civil discourse and how to compare and

contrast their own ideas with each other in a respectful manner. This will include proper

dialoguing techniques such as rephrasing what others have said before responding and

listening to understand what someone is saying and not listening to respond to what

someone is saying. These skills will help the students engage in civil dialogue about

important issues later on in their lives.

The students will learn the complexities of historical causality. The students will gain an

understanding that events throughout history never have a singular cause and that there are

always multiple factors contributing to something occurring. The students will also gain an

understanding of how much factors like happenstance and accidents contribute to history.

The students will learn to analyze the past and the people who lived in it in accordance

with the norms and zeitgeist of those eras. The students will not engage in presentism and

will not judge the actions of historical figures using modern values and beliefs but instead

by comparing them to what others were doing in their time in history and what the values

and beliefs during that time were.

The students will reach the Late Multiplicity Stage of historical thinking and will

understand that there is no black and white true and false when it comes to history. Instead,

the students will know that history is made up of many opinions and that opinions are more

credible and valid when they are supported by evidence from and credible and valid

sources. This will be accomplished via in class discussions where these ideas that historical

truth is a muddy process will be discovered by the students firsthand.

The students will comprehend the vast array of human cultures that have existed. Not only

will the students learn about what makes these cultures unique they will also learn what
makes them similar in order to foster a shared sense of humanity and empathy with other


The students will learn how individual people have made their marks on history and what

personal character traits they exhibited. This will teach them that despite the overwhelming

odds individual people can make a difference and change the world for the better or for the


The students will learn that history is much like science in that it involves gathering

evidence, making hypotheses, and then testing them against the interpretations of others.

To do this the students will learn how to gather evidence, how to formulate hypotheses,

and then how to interpret the hypotheses of others using evidence.

The students will also learn several personal values, such as empathy and respect for others, which

can be employed inside and outside of the classroom and will shape them into better human beings.

B. Values

The students will learn that they are valued as human beings. Far too many students do not

have the luxury of a loving family that cares about them and if a students parents do not

care about them then at the very least their teacher can.

The students will learn the importance of civic activism and involvement in their

community. As future voters and citizens of a democratic nation it is important that the

students understand the challenges that faces their community and that they establish a

background of making positive change and learning that their efforts can make a difference.

It is also important that the students understand their own heritage and identity. Every

student in this class will learn about themselves and they will learn the struggles and
triumphs of all people. Every student in this class will learn something that makes them

proud of their heritage.

The students will learn to respect one another even if they have differing views and

opinions. Learning how to respect people will increase the empathy that the students can

have for others and will be fostered via classroom practices and discussions where students

will have to remain respectful and civil during the dialogue.

Lastly, the students will learn how to empathize with other people. Empathy will open

doors that would otherwise remain closed to students and allow them to see things through

other peoples eyes. This is a valuable interpersonal skill and will help them with their

social lives as well as with understanding history.

C. Subject Content

Although this is a world history class the content that will be taught in this class will be

cross curricular. For starters, there will be many written components to assignments in this class

and these written assignments will be graded with the same grammatical rigor that an English

teacher would grade them with. The content of these written assignments will also be graded in

such a way that the ideas are communicated precisely and effectively by utilizing organizational

skills and effective analytical language. Technology standards will also be integrated into this

course by having the students use technology for their assignments. Not only will the written

assignments be typed up but they will oftentimes have a research component which requires them

to look for information using the internet and other digital resources. They will also have to

complete assignments like presentations by using other digital tools like PowerPoint or Prezi in

order to convey information in an aesthetically appealing manner. Technology skills are a must
for the future so it is vastly important that the students become more familiarized with digital

technology in this classroom.

As a world history class it is also important that the students learn about the world. This

means that geography standards will be included in this classroom and students will be required to

learn about different locations around the world and in this way gain a greater global

consciousness. By understanding exactly how expansive the world is and what different parts of

the world are like the students will have an easier time imagining certain concepts and empathizing

with the people who lived in these areas. It will also better equip them to understand what these

areas of the world and the people that live there are like today. Last, but certainly not least, the

students will learn about the history of civilizations of across the entire globe. This will be a

comparative narrative of multiple civilizations and the recurring themes shared by them. These

themes include but are not limited to: religions impact on society, the role of common people, the

arts as a way of understanding everyday life, how civilizations have interacted with one another,

and how different cultures have influenced each other. By examining these themes across time and

space the students will build a knowledge of historical causality and why the world is the way it is