IB Learners Strive to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced, and Reflective. . .
Welcome to IB History of the Americas! This is the beginning of a two-year course of study culminating with your IB exam May of your senior year. This class will be co-taught by Mrs. McClellan and Mrs. Hambly.
This year we will concentrate on the history of the US, Latin America, and Canada. During senior year, the focus will be on 20th century World History. The main idea of the course is to cover history in more depth, reather than a broad survey course of all the history. Depth will be considered over breadth. This course has also been designed to give the student an international perspective. For this course, the focus units will be as follows: US Civil War and Reconstruction, the Cold War and the Americas, and Civil Rights and Social Movements in the Americas.
The most exciting thing about this course is that students become working historians. As historians you will interpret historical evidence, develop narratives, think critically and interpretively, formulate historical questions, resolve conflicting interpretations, recognize problems of historical methodology, and how to draw conclusions with incomplete evidence. As historians, students will be able to develop a thesis, choose evidence, and provide their own interpretations.
Nature of the Subject
From the IBO History Guide:
History is a dynamic, contested, evidence-based discipline that involves an exciting engagement with the past. It is a rigorous intellectual discipline, focused around key historical concepts such as change, causation and significance. History is an exploratory subject that fosters a sense of inquiry. It is also an interpretive discipline, allowing opportunity for engagement with multiple perspectives and a plurality of opinions. Studying history develops an understanding of the past, which leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of humans and of the world today.
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) history course is a world history course based on a comparative and multi- perspective approach to history. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural, and provides a balance of structure and flexibility. The course emphasizes the importance of encouraging students to think historically and to develop historical skills as well as gaining factual knowledge. It puts a premium on developing the skills of critical thinking, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history. In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past.
There are six key concepts that have particular prominence throughout the DP history course: Change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance, perspectives.
History and International-mindedness
From the IBO History Guide:
... an education for international-mindedness; an education designed to break down the barriers of race, religion and class; an education that extolled the benefits of cultural diversity; above all else, an education for peace. (George Walker 2011: 19)
International-mindedness is an umbrella term through which the IB defines the goal of international education, and which is exemplified by the emphasis in all IB programmes on promoting global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding.
The DP history course is designed in such a way as to explicitly reinforce the emphasis on the development of international-mindedness. For example, one of the key concepts that weaves throughout the course is perspectives, and, more specifically, an emphasis on encouraging students to appreciate multiple perspectives. In addition, all students are required to study case studies and examples from different regions of the world, with comparison of such examples helping to ensure that the course adopts a transnational perspective. Teachers also have a great deal of freedom to choose relevant examples to explore with their students, helping to ensure that the course appropriately meets their students’ needs and interests regardless of their location or context. Throughout the DP history course, students have the opportunity to explore historical events that have played a key role in shaping the world today, deepening their understanding of the complex and interconnected nature of past and present events. For example, students explore historical examples of many of the global challenges facing the world today, such as conflict, rights and governance. This helps to meet one of the central aims of the course—to increase students’ understanding of themselves and of contemporary society by encouraging reflection on the past.