At what grade and academic level is this course appropriate?
Given the reading level of some of the materials and the complexity of many of the issues, this course is most suitable for high school students. As an elective course it could be offered to any students with the desire to tackle the challenge of exploring these dynamic and difficult global issues. In the course catalog at Lebanon High School, I have used the phrase “Prerequisite: A readiness and a willingness to engage in rigorous college preparatory work.”
Is this an English course or a Social Studies course?
This course is designed to be as flexible as possible. Given the provocative subject matter of the course, compelling questions will be raised that will require research and analysis, fostering a multitude of information literacy and critical thinking skills. The multiple perspectives inherent in discussion of these topics will sharpen presentation, discussion, and leadership skills. Everything connected to this course, such as the reading materials, activities, assignments, and assessments, will all reflect the Common Core Standards. Therefore, this course would be well suited for either one credit in English, one credit in Social Studies, or a half credit in each subject.
Does one have to be certified in both English & Social Studies to teach this course?
No. If the course were offered for a full credit in either English or Social Studies, then it would make sense for someone of whichever department to teach it. However, if it were offered for a split credit, either certification could work with an administrative letter to parents to explain the HQT situation.
Does this have to be taught as a full year course?
The goal of this project is to address the difficulties involved with teaching about the world in which we live right now. The more we can do that, the better it is. The curriculum has been organized into four units, each reflecting 25% of the school year. A single unit could be inserted into an existing World Studies or International Relations course. Two units, such as the first along with either the second or third could be combined to make a semester course; the first unit would need to be a starting point because of the content background for later units and the skill building included in this first unit. Additionally, students could take the first half and then opt to continue for the second.
Full Year Semester Option 1 Semester Option 2 Unit I: The New World [dis]Order Unit I: The New World [dis]Order Unit I: The New World [dis]Order Unit II: America Since 9-11 Unit II: America Since 9-11 Unit III: The “Arab Spring” Unit III: The “Arab Spring” Unit IV: Globalization
How much work is involved for students?
There will be many assignments both in class and outside of class, as well as essay responses, quizzes, researched papers and presentations. Students will do nightly homework, write essays, complete research projects, and read novels. There is usually 1 hour of homework each night.
Can the course be modified?
The unit plans included on this site represent a first draft of this course and have been written in such a way as to provide a workable model for someone who wanted to adopt the course without having to do much beyond preparing the materials. Where possible I have included either in the plans or on the source pages alternative readings. As I teach the course next year, I will continue to add modifications as I revise the course. My hope is that the “Dialogue” page on this site will become a forum where those who teach the course will post new materials and new ideas, so that this course becomes as dynamic as the material it covers.
How much work is involved for teachers?
Ideally, I will provide, on this site and through the contact form, all that would be necessary to teach this course. The only preparation needed before teaching would be to order the materials and familiarize oneself with those materials and the way they are used in the plans. The “risky” part is realizing that one is teaching material for which there are no answers. This course is more about coaching students to ask questions, to approach complicated topics with a willingness to be confused, and to engender a readiness to participate as global citizens with, at least, an understanding of the complexity of foreign policy decisions.
Is help available to get started?
Beyond the dialogue that I hope to start on this site among teachers of this course, I am also available by e-mail and phone, or possibly for a school visit/workshop.
How much does this course cost to run?
To purchase the materials needed to run this course for a class of 24 students would be approximately $2,000.00.
Is there any funding available to get this course started?
I have received a grant from the Jack & Dorothy Byrne Foundation to subsidize the purchase of materials if this course becomes “an accepted program within the schools” in New Hampshire.
How do I get materials and the articles included in the curriculum?
On the source page for each unit is the full list of all materials I looked at to write the unit. Titles printed in green will need to be purchased and a link to a site where it can be bought is provided next to each one. The articles that I have used, in dark azure, are all available through EBSCO.