IB 20th Century World History Topics

  • Google Classroom: y73xu

    Course Description

    This course is the second year of the International Baccalaureate study of history, focusing on selected 20th century world history topics. The course will also cover U.S. political and governmental topics and, therefore, fulfills the U.S. government graduation requirement. 

    This course is not designed to provide students with a survey of 20th century world history; instead, the course is a comparative approach to world history using selected historical topics. This approach encourages students to develop a framework for studying political, social, economic, and cultural issues using six key concepts: perspectives, continuity, causation, consequence, change, and significance. Students will gain factual knowledge, but more importantly, they will develop the skills of careful reading, effective written and oral communication, critical thinking, academic research, source analysis, and historical interpretation. 

    Why? Because studying history develops an understanding of the past, which leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of humans and of the world today. 

    Course Outline

    The Move to Global War (1931-1941)
    This unit will study military expansion from 1931 to 1941. Students will examine Japanese expansionism in East Asia from 1931 to 1941 and German and Italian expansionism from 1933 to 1940. Students will analyze key events, causes of expansionism, responses to expansionism, as well as the US perspective on military expansion. 

    20th Century Authoritarian States
    This unit will focus on exploring the conditions that facilitated the rise of authoritarian states in the 20th century, as well as their goals, policies, and methods. Students will explore the emergence of authoritarian states, the methods these leaders used to seize, consolidate and maintain power, and the impact of their regimes’ economic, political, cultural and social policies.  

    The Cold War: Superpower Tensions and Rivalries
    This unit will examine the Cold War which dominated global affairs from the end of the Second World War to the early 1990s. Students will investigate the rivalries of the Cold War, styles of leadership, ideological beliefs, economic and military factors,  and important crises. Students will gain an international perspective on the Cold War by studying leaders, nations and crises from multiple regions of the world.  

    US Government
    Throughout the course, students will consider US governmental actions and reactions as part of their examination of the selected historical topics.  They will assess how US political leaders, structures, and ideologies impact US foreign and domestic policies. Students will also use the current election cycle as a mechanism to study local, state and national governments.

    Internal Assessment - Historical Investigation
    Students will complete an investigation into a historical topic of their choice. The final product will be an 8-page paper composed of four sections: identification and evaluation of two main sources, investigation, reflection, and bibliography with 8 to 10 sources. Students will work on this investigation throughout the year.

    External Assessment - IB Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3
    Students will be eligible to take the IB External Assessment on Tuesday, May 5th and Wednesday, May 6th.  Paper 1 consists of four structured questions on the move to global war with provided sources.  Paper 2 consists of two essay questions on two different topics from a choice of 24 questions. Paper 3 consists of three essay questions from a choice of 36 questions. 

    Important Dates

    Students will need to manage their time effectively to succeed in this course.  I recommend using a planner and marking these dates on your calendar. 

    September 16:  Topic and Question for Historical Investigation Due
    September 30:  Historical Investigation Outline is Due 
    October 14:  Historical Investigation Identification of Sources Due  
    October 30:  Historical Investigation Evaluation of 1st Source Due 
    November 13:  Historical Investigation Evaluation of 2nd Source Due  
    December 19:  Historical Investigation with Annotated Sources Due 
    January 22-24:  Presentation of Historical Investigation (Semester Exam)
    February 13:  Historical Investigation Reflection Due
    February 20:  Historical Investigation Completed Draft Due 
    March 13:  Final Draft of Historical Investigation
    May 5-6:  IB External Assessment, Papers 1-3 (Final Exam)
    May 21:  Senior Project Presentations

    Class Expectations

    This course will move quickly yet deeply through complex historical periods.  In order to foster meaningful class discussions and prepare successfully for the IB internal and external assessments, students will need to complete readings and homework outside of class and come to class on time and fully-prepared each day.  Assignments, readings and handouts will be posted on Google classroom. Please let me know if you do not have access to a computer or internet service at home so we can make other arrangements. 

    Students will need to take notes on readings, lectures and discussions in a manner that allows them to prepare for the my summative assessments and the IB’s external assessment. I recommend taking notes on loose-leaf paper or in a composition notebook and using a 3-ring binder to organize your readings, handouts and notes.

    Grading Policy

    I will assess student work using a standards-based grading scale. Generally, the grading scale can be described as:

    1 - Beginning Skill/Content Mastery
    2 - Approaching Skill/Content Mastery
    3 - Achieving Skill/Content Mastery
    4 - Exceeding Skill/Content Mastery

    Your grade will consist of the following components: 

    60% Summative Assessments (Papers, Tests, Projects, Presentations
    30% Formative Assessments (Homework, Quizzes)
    10% IB Learner Skills

    Using this standard-based grading scale and these components, I will post progress report, mid-term and final grades using these grade ranges:

    A 85-100%
    B 70-84.9%
    C 50-69.9%
    D 35-49.9%
    F Below 34.9%

    Do not wait until the end of the progress period to express dissatisfaction with your grades. Please check Q frequently and talk with me about any concerns.  I’m here to help you learn!

    Be Respectful - Be Responsible - Be Resilient - Be an Eagle!

    Students are expected to follow all Big Sky High School policies in this classroom.  In particular, please familiarize yourself with the school’s policies for attendance, academic honesty, cell phone use and appropriate conduct as explained in the Big Sky Student Handbook. I will enforce these policies uniformly and consistently.