That’s what today is all about. I’m behind on grading my online students’ work that was submitted weeks ago. Trying to tie it all up before they submit their final exam projects, which I truly look forward to.
For the Modern World History courses, students will be making timelines that show antecedents/ causes of some of our contemporary challenges— things like climate change, vast disparities in wealth, authoritarian governments, or Islamism.
The project asks them to think back 200 years to choose 5 events that led up to this crisis. Pessimistic? A little. But gets them thinking historically.
Today I tried a new lesson on globalization. As any history professor knows, most modern history courses end with this nebulous theme. Inspired by an all-college meeting I attended last week, I divided the class into 4 groups. Each was responsible for one “category” of globalization: Cultural, Economic, Political, and Environmental.
I gave each student a marker for the dry-erase board. They listed examples of globalization in each category. After the activity, we voted on which was the most obvious of the categories, and the overwhelming consensus was on economic globalization which makes sense. In so many ways, we encounter the world through our own consumerism, through our objects. And there is so much chatter on the news and elsewhere about the “global economy” and the “national economy.” That said, disparities between rich and poor all over the world have cultural, political, and environmental stories behind them. People may have been motivated by money, but money too is cultural.
Anyway, they came up with some great examples. This, I hope, will help their final projects, which are timelines. I will post the assignment when I can.