I teach in a small school and am both the English and History teacher for both 9th & 10th. We will add 11th grade next year and 12th the year after that. It is a private school that is rebuilding the high school. My World Lit & World History class is back to back and I am trying to integrate as much as possible. Right now Freshmen take a semester of Geography and a semester of Maine Studies, Sophomores take World History, Juniors take American History, and Seniors take Government, and I think Economics.
Is anyone else in a similar situation? If so, how do you structure your classes? If you were in this situation, how would you design your class?
Another, perhaps deeper question: what are your thoughts on concept vs heavy on facts? I'm wondering if I can focus on concepts, rather than trying to trudge through the timeline of history. Will I be short changing my students if we focus on concepts?
Isn't this the way of the Common Core? We're heading toward more English/Language Arts with a heavy dose of primary sources for analysis. Thematic, or conceptual, history will likely result as we leave traditional chronology and focus on close reading of high intensity texts.
Sounds like you have a good start on CCLS!
Do you know if there are Common Core resources for Social Studies on line? The best ones I've found so far are for English specifically. I teach in a private school, so we aren't bound to the CCLS. It's up to me to find info if I want to use it.
Right now CCLS for the Social Studies is actually combined with science and "the technical fields." I'm in NYS and I've used this site for my information http://engageny.org/teachers/
It's pretty good. Resources, videos, general information, but still nothing social studies-specific. Most surprising (?) to me is that the primary sources for 9/10 and 11/12 focus on US History. Very, very few sources from world history. I teach world history for grade 9 and 10. What does the future hold for me?!
Hopefully a lot. There are so many connections that can be made between our world and the ancient past. To forget the past is to keep repeating it. I teach 7th grade world history - primarily european, but my students see the connections all the time. How can you not?! I hope you stay strong and stay the course. Just because some want to limit knowledge, remember there is so much wealth in greater interests, diversity and history. <3
My school's curriculum is very much the same, but with a bit more choice.
As far as fact vs. concept... this is something I've struggled with for the past decade. I find that without the facts students can't grasp to concepts. What I'm moving into now is trying to make my courses more skill based. I have always taught specific skills and concepts, but I'm trying to make it clearer to the students.
I think the best way to think about this question of concept and fact, is that they will not remember 90% of the facts they learn their sophomore year, but they may retain skills and bigger ideas about the world and social justice.
Right now, our course looks like this
Sem 1: Evolution & Creation stories, Ancient Civilizations, Classical Civilizations, Early Middle Ages.
Sem 2: Late Middle Ages, Renaissance/Reformation, Exploration, Enlightenment/Sci. Rev, French Rev & Nationalist movements around the world, Industrial Revolution & Imperialism, WWI/Russian Revolution/Armenian Genocide, Interwar, WWII/Decolonization
Obviously, Sem 2 is basically Western Civ light. That's something I'm trying to work on and change. I inherited a curriculum :)