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00 Course Overview

Forces of Modern Historical Change: Global Perspectives  (CI 1150), 4 Credits

In a classroom designed to support active learning, students will explore diverse historical perspectives, both scholarly and first-hand accounts, which speak to the most significant forces of global change in the twentieth century.  This course focuses on understanding the driving forces of change that have been most consequential for global societies in the twentieth century.  Along with traditional lecture, the course facilitates discussion based on primary and secondary sources.  Students read and discuss the meaning of historical documents that highlight forces of global change such as social movements, religion, and competing economic systems.  In addition to these primary source texts, students will gain a deeper understanding of the global past by analyzing interpretations of history by present-day historians.  Through this work, students will gain a better understanding of the practice of history and a better understanding of what it has meant to live in the twentieth century.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Can identify, define, and solve problems.

Students focus on understanding the driving forces of change that have been most consequential for global societies in the twentieth century.  Through active learning, students examine the global past as an ongoing debate as opposed to something static and unchanging.  Connections are made between past historical events and contemporary global events through analysis of similar history patterns and forces.

Examples of how this SLO is assessed include: (a) Deconstruct historical events to identify history forces that support and conflict with one another as history unfolds through responses to essay questions on the major exams.  (b) Understand the past history and values of the U.S., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union as they impacted the Yalta Summit at the end of World War II.  Students take on roles representing one of the three countries in small groups and apply what they had learned thus far in the class to negotiating to achieve objectives that sometimes were in direct contradiction with other countries.  (c) Complete a beginning and end of academic term written reflection identifying history forces influencing recent past events and forecasting the near future.

2. Have mastered a body of knowledge and mode of inquiry.

Multiple primary and secondary source documents along with archival film footage highlight the history forces of change.  Students work individually and collaboratively towards a deeper understanding and potential bias reflected in describing them.  Examples of how this SLO is assessed include: (a) Analyze a single historical event through newspaper reports in neighboring countries for the differences that might be attributable to bias and postulate the contributing causes through a short graded essay.  (b) Examine a historical event through selection and analysis of primary and secondary documents to complete a research report.  (c) Engage in frequent small group discussions using the tools of historical analysis for the assigned readings of primary and secondary history source documents. 

3. Understand diverse philosophies and cultures within and across society.

By its nature, this global history and culture course explores and compares cultures across the world in the 20th century.  Countries are not viewed as monolithic, but composed of a collection of subcultures that sometimes align or conflict with one another.  Examining diverse philosophies is one of the nine history forces that are investigated through the course.  Ideas are powerful since they sometimes as the initial catalyst that influences other history forces.  Examples of how this SLO is assessed include: (a) Historical simulation placing students as representatives of Hindu, Muslim, Sikhs, and other groups within India as they struggle for a different outcome other than the violent partition of India and Pakistan.  Each small group within the class negotiates and creates a detailed plan graded by the instructor.  (b) Case study of Gandhi examining his philosophy and how it influenced his choices during the protest movement against Great Britain.  Students identify the principles used by Gandhi for the protest and apply them to a contemporary issue by creating a detailed implementation following Gandhi’s principles.  (c) Evaluate the intersection of culture, artistic expression, ideas, and their impact on historical events through long essay responses to several questions posed on major exams. 

Student Development Outcome:

Appreciation of differences – Students will: (1) Recognize the value of interacting with individuals with backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas different than their own. (2) Critically examine own values and beliefs as a result of engaging with different perspectives.  Examples of how this SDO is assessed include: (a) Explore different perspectives of other cultures through participation in several historical simulations of events by people from different cultures within and among different countries.  (b) Following the unit on Genocides and Holocausts of the 20th and 21st centuries, students reflect how to reduce tensions and increase understandings among people of different cultures, philosophies, and religious traditions. 

Instructor Teaching and Learning Philosophy:

My role as a teacher is to help construct a learning environment that is conducive for students to explore, learn, and develop new knowledge and skills.  Students are active participants and partners in the learning process.  A variety of learning activities will be experienced in the class: discussion over reading selections, participating in decision making through simulations, analyzing video documentaries, processing lecture notes, studying material through web sites, attending on-campus programs related to history, and other activities.  Students are not expected to agree with material presented by the course instructor or the textbook.  Nor will there always be agreement between the professor and the assigned readings, documentaries, or web sites.  The goal of the class is to explore multiple perspectives and interpretations of history with the student responsible for developing critical analysis skills regarding their evaluation.  The classroom is an “open marketplace of ideas” where each can be critically evaluated, analyzed, and discussed and interpretations can be respectfully critiqued.