Western Studies I & II

Welcome to Western Studies I and II.  This is a survey course that starts with the development of Ancient Greece and ends with the beginning of the Cold War. The curriculum is clearly laid out in a concept based format (this is available online) and this class will cover all of the course requirements.  However, the curriculum objectives are only part of this class, as the stated objectives are a means to an end.  This course also emphasizes the study of current events to add context and depth to the historical objectives that are covered in class.  For instance, we will analyze the genesis of democracy (and its effectiveness) in ancient Greece, but in doing so, we will analyze the validity of this form of government in its present form both in the industrialized and developing worlds.   The roadmap for this course is simple: In each unit, the students (i) study and digest the historical narrative (i.e. The French Revolution); (ii) critique or justify the actions of the historical characters that we have studied within the narrative; and (iii) make historical connections to the status quo or more specifically to their own experience. 

The class assignments and activities are developed to challenge the students to understand, synthesize, apply, analyze and evaluate evidence and form defensible conclusions.  There is a strong emphasis on problem solving – both historically and in the status quo.   Problem solving exercises are developed to challenge each student’s ethical decision making, confront the weaknesses in their own arguments and challenge them to recognize different world views.  This course is taught in a Socratic style, so it is incumbent on both the teacher and the students to challenge one another, creating a natural critical thinking environment that will arouse curiosity and empower students to try, come up short, receive feedback and try again. In this class, the questions are far more important than the answers. The students in this class will be given many opportunities to use their reasoning abilities and challenge their thinking.  If you aren’t thinking you aren’t learning.


Week of October 28th

Class 3: Western Studies

Monday (H) - Cincinnatus the story. Tuesday (A) Video, practice quiz (s0cial promotion) and Caesar Homework.

Class 4: Honors Western Studies

Monday (H) Praetorian Guard. Tuesday (A) - 1 Minute speeches

 

Class 5: Honors Western Studies

Monday (H) Praetorian Guard. Tuesday (A) - 1 Minute speeches

 

Class 8: Honors Western Studies

Monday (H) - Cincinnatus the story. Tuesday (A) Drop

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Week of October 14th

Class 3: Western Studies

Monday: HW: Alexander the Great; Classwork: Chronnology Quiz; Video WS - Ancient Greek Olympics. Tuesday:Drop. Wednesday: HW Check - Alexander the Great. Video on Alexander. Thursday: Homework: Alexander the Great persuasive paragraphs. Finished the video. Friday: Test handout - Schedule Unit 1 Test.

Class 4: Honors Western Studies

Monday: Cincinnatus Review and Video #1- Gracchus and Sulla; Video #2 Caesar and Augustus (7 minutes). Tuesday: Chronology Quiz. Wednesday: Drop. Thursday: SLAVE REVOLT - Did not finish the video - 1o minutes on Octavian left; Social Promotion Quiz; Caesar debate assigned - Due on Monday. Read handout on Fall of Rome. Friday:

Class 5:

Tuesday: Cincinnatus Review and Video #1- Gracchus and Sulla; Video #2 Caesar and Augustus (10 minutes left. Wednesday: Drop. Thursday: HW Slaves only- Fall of Rome. Assigned Caesar debate - for Tuesday. Handed out

Class 8:

Monday: HW: Alexander the Great; Classwork: Chronnology Quiz; Video WS - Ancient Greek Olympics. Tuesday: Alexander the Great - Did not finish video - 21 minutes in. Wednesday: PSAT Drop. Thursday: Drop.

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Week of September 16th

Class 3 - Monday (D) Finish Writing Baseline - Section 2 HW. Tuesday Review Women WS and How the few control the many Spartans/Helots - Friday (H) Prison Activity

Class 4 - Monday (D) Review Socrates/Plato Reading. Tuesday (E) Plato, Socrates and the Matrix. Wednesday (F) Plato, Socrates and the Matrix. Thursday (G) Drop. Friday (H)- How the few control the many - presented and finished. Did not show 300 video

Class 5 - Monday (D) Review Socrates/Plato Reading - Tuesday (E) Wednesday (F) Drop. Thursday (G) Friday (H) Few control the many - unfinished. Showed 300 video.

Class 8 - Democracy in Athens, Election, Tuesday (E) Drop. Wednesday (F) Sparta and Athens - Women. Thursday: Review Women WS and How the few control the many Spartans/Helots - Friday (H) Prison Activity

Blue Book Celebration - Summative - Honors Only (4 and 5)

Due Date: Monday, September 23


Know the following:

1. The Socratic Paradox - know the story of Socrates - The Apology.

2. The composition of the class structure in Plato's Republic. Its purpose and a detailed explanation of the role of the philosopher king.

3. The Cave Allegory - A description and its application.

4. Memorize three quotes from Socrates and include an explanation.

5. Prepare a persuasive argument for both sides of the following statement: Democracy is a good form of government.

 

Mr. Saladin's Website

Sortition – Government by jury -                                                                       

The Athenians had a very unique system: political offices were distributed using a lottery. The lottery method – known as Sortition – could be implemented here. If Congresspeople were drawn at random from the U.S. citizenry, Congress would not be an elite body made predominantly of rich, male, white, old lawyers. Rather, it would look like a statistical sample of the people: it would contain 51% women, 28% Hispanics and African, rich and poor, young and old, straight and gay etc.  What are the benefits and drawbacks of this way of governing?  Agree or Disagree?

Democracy is a form of government in which the power to govern comes directly from the people. All citizens of an appropriate age are granted equal voting rights. This seems fair, but do you think that citizens should have to earn their right to vote by being productive members of society?  Please explain your answer.       

Redistribution of wealth:  In virtually all societies, the wealthy are taxed at a much higher rate and their wealth is redistributed in the form of different social programs in order to help those who are less fortunate.  Jeff Bezos, the C.E.O. of Amazon, is worth almost 100 billion dollars.  Is it appropriate to tax 95% of his income (and other very wealthy citizens) so the government can redistribute it? Please defend your answer.  

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Week of September 8th

Class 3 (CP) Monday (G): Drop. Tuesday (H) Worked on Country X Activity. Wednesday (A): Country X presentations. Thursday (B) Worked on baseline writing assessment for the entirety of the class.

Class 4 (H) Monday (G): Country X Activity - Due Dilligence Phase. Tuesday (H) Reviewed basics of Greece HW 1 and 2 - Quick Quiz (group). Wednesday (A) Quick Quiz began X presentations (Cam's group) HW: Sparta and liberal feminism reading. Thursday (B) Reviewed Sparta/Athens - Role of women - Critical Theory. Socrates/Plato Reading for HW

Class 5 (H) Monday (G): Greece HW review Tuesday (H) Country X Activity - Due Dilligence Phase. Country X (Connor's group) HW: Sparta and liberal feminism reading. Thursday (B) Drop. Friday (C) Reviewed Sparta/Athens - Role of women - Critical Theory. Socrates/Plato Reading for HW

Class 8 (H) Monday (G): Worked on Country X activity. Tuesday (H) Presented Country X Activity. Wednesday (A) Drop. Thursday (B) Writing diagnostic set up - Biggest problem that faces the United States.

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Week of August 26th - First Day!! (Please note that I am slowly transtioning to Google Classroom)

Classes 3,4,5,8 - Syllabus and homework assignment. Due: Next class (the second time we meet) - construct a 1 minute speech on a passion that you possess.

Due on the third time we meet: Students should write a persuasive argument supporting the following contention: The study of history is a complete waste of time.

Honors Classes (4 and 5): On September 5th, three assignments are due:

(1) Writing Baseline (50 points - formative)

(2) Map - graded for aesthetics and accuracy (50 - formative)

(3) Map Quiz - I will choose 1o countries (ostensibly in Eastern Europe) and you will locate them. There will be no word bank and there are time constraints (10 minutes max). Spelling counts!

CP Classes (3 and 8):

(1) Writing Baseline (50 Points - formative)

(2) Map - graded for aesthetics and accuracy - September 6th

(3) Map Quiz - September 6th Friday -

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Week of September 2nd - For Honors classes - map and paper are due on Thursday. We will be reviewing causes of war and geograph y this week. A critical thinking mini group project will be assigned this week.

Class 3 - Tuesday (9/3) Drop. Wednesday (9/4) Finished Geography and Destiny Friday (9/6) Map Quiz, finished map due and we begin the Country X diagnostic. Students will have a full class period to complete the activity on Monday (9/9).

Class 4 - Tuesday(9/3) Drop. Wednesday (9/4) Reviewed some of the basics of geography, most notably the idea that geography is our destiny. Quiz, map and paper are due next class. Reviewed the basics of the Country X Activity. Thursday (9/5): Causes of War and Conflict, reschedule Country X, take quiz, short intro speeches if time permits. Friday (9/6) Collect homework - review the beginnings of Ancient Greece.

Class 5 - Tuesday (9/3) We reviewed causes of war and conflict. No homework but paper, map and quiz will be on Thursday. Upcoming: Crtitical Thinking Diagnostic - Country X. This has not been assigned yet. Wednesday (9/4) Reviewed some of the basics of geography, most notably the idea that geography is our destiny. Thursday - quiz, map and paper are due. Reviewed the basics of the Country X Activity.Friday (9/6) Drop

Class 8 - Tuesday (9/3) We reviewed geography terms and participated in the geography is destiny activity. No homework. Reminder that map and map quiz are due on Friday. Wednesday (9/4) Georgraphy as destiny activity. Friday (9/6) Map Quiz, finished map due and we begin the Country X diagnostic. Students will have a full class period to complete the activity on Monday (9/9).

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