Course Overview and Rationale:
This course will examine and compare historical, political, social, economic and geographical aspects of human cultural development. We’ll view the development of artistic, religious and philosophic ideas of both Western and Eastern Civilizations, as well as the development of culture through art, architecture, cuisine, religion, philosophy and history. Other themes we will study include gender, ethics, revolution, and environmental factors that influence culture. Knowledge gained on the various components of culture will promote acceptance and appreciation of cultural differences.
River Valley Civilizations
Civilizations of Greece and Rome
The Chinese Style of Civilization
Islam & Islamic Worlds
Steppe Peoples and Eurasian Civilizations
Africa: Past and Present
The Revolutionary Age
Thought and (Popular?) Culture
Make a sincere effort – engage actively in the classes and as you do the assigned work, be open to new ideas and methods, follow suggestions and improve where you can, learn from your mistakes, get extra help when you need it.
Due to the vigorous pace and nature of the course, it is your responsibility to catch up, find out and complete homework assignments, hand in work due, and reschedule (as soon as possible) all missed tests, presentations, and due dates if you must be absent. That being said, students who attend on time with assignments done, appropriate materials, and are ready to learn are most successful.
Think about how each concept ties together. The course builds upon itself. Take notes that are clear and make sense to you. Organize them in your binder and review them regularly. Ask questions to clarify your understanding, or lack thereof.
Quizzes, Tests 25%
Final Exam* 20%
You will learn and be successful if you do the work. Quizzes and classroom activities will be based on readings and daily lectures and discussion. Listen carefully for instructions, write them down if there is no handout, and expect them to be due next class unless otherwise directed.
Extensions: Talk to me before the due date if you could be late (or on the due date if something unforeseen comes up) – just be honest about why. Ask for an extension if you will need one, and you will probably get one. If you organize your time and plan ahead, it will work out.
Assessment and evaluation will be done in a variety of ways – by you, by me, and by your peers. The most important part of assessment is that it help us learn by showing us what we can and cannot do; the most important part of evaluation is that it indicates how well we are able to show what we know, in a particular way, about a particular subject, at a particular point in time. It is NOT a measure of how smart we are overall. However, it is part of our education system, and we will work with it. The thing to remember is that the result of any assessment or evaluation is NOT a judgment; it is a tool that we can use to improve our learning.
Students will be provided with clear criteria in the form of rubrics for all major assignments. These rubrics will often be created together with students. Students will be expected to self and peer assess as part of the learning process. Many assignments in their early stages will be assessed using specific feedback on rubrics rather than with percentages or letter grades in order to focus students on the learning process and skill development. However, grades must be reported to parents periodically, and therefore, marks will be collected and recorded according to the level of proficiency demonstrated at that time. Remember that improvement and growth are always happening and with effort no mark is set in stone.