This course will trace the social, economic, and political development of Europe from the Early Modern Period through recent times.
Students master a lot of historical content. But they also have plenty of opportunity to think critically about what they are learning as well. I build of our time together around questions that I pepper our live sessions with. So, when we are discussing the French Revolution, I ask: “are there certain things a society needs to already have in place for democracy to thrive there?” When we are talking about political upheaval at the turn of the 20th century, I ask: “When a group of people are feeling resentful about changes around them, how might political leaders try to win those people to their side?” When we’re talking about the aftermath of WWII, I ask: “are there any ways that leaders can try to increase the likelihood of peace in a region after a war is over?” Student contributions get woven in meaningful ways into the class material.
My aim is to make my course as interactive and thought-provoking as possible. But I’m also interested in all of us having a good time together while we learn history. From the feedback I’ve received over the years from parents and students, I am confident that I’ve been able to create a class environment where we have a lot of fun while exploring the past and improving critical thinking skills.
The course is built on a pattern of eight Units, each containing four weeks: Week A, B, C, and D. Certain assignment types fall dependably on particular weeks each Unit so that students and parents can rely on a regular, repeated schedule of work throughout the year.
Live class sessions are designed to engage students at different levels. Homework assignments are designed to meet the needs of the average student. However, for families who wish a more challenging, honors-level course, additional homework and testing expectations can be added to the course. Parents simply have to contact me to opt their students into the honors-level track. For the typical student, weekly workloads should average about 4 or 5 hours.
For families who are interested in a more detailed “tour” of my classes, along with an excerpt of an actual live meeting, please click on this link.
Who should enroll?
This course is primarily for 9th-12th graders, although parents of advanced 8th graders can contact me about the possibility of their son/daughter joining.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
Evaluation and Feedback
The course is designed to improve critical thinking and historical reasoning skills particularly during our live class sessions. Regular homework assignments promote mastery of content. If parents want to opt their children into more writing-intensive or project-based assignments, they can contact me and we can work those aspects into the course for their children.
Parents are encouraged to contact me through the Canvas messaging system.