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History & Global Studies

Diplomacy at WMA

In the Fall of 2017, WMA launched the first steps of its new diplomacy program. These included the all-school summer read “Getting to Yes” and negotiation situations during Thursday sit-down lunch, as well as coursework woven throughout the curriculum and other all-school events like “Crossing Borders,” an all-day on-campus workshop event for students to enhance their global awareness.

History & Global Studies courses

AP U.S. History

This course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in the world. In line with college and university U.S. history survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491-1607 and from 1980-present. The course will explore nine different periods of U.S. history. Students develop ability in distinguishing fact from opinion, using primary sources, analyzing and synthesizing information, relating cause and effect, and presenting and defending personal perspectives based upon historical information. Students also learn to integrate cultural and social history to literature of the times. Research/reading beyond the text is often required and is expected for many assignments.  

AP World History

AP World History is a college level survey of world history from the perspective that ever-increasing trade and interconnectedness between societies, nations and cultures is the driving force of historical change. This course focuses on historical reasoning skills, allowing students to find and interpret primary source historical data; compare and contrast societal developments across time, geography and culture; and analyze change in history as a process with causes and consequences. Students should expect a high volume of reading and writing, as well as periodic tests measuring baseline historical content. Students are also expected to undertake two research projects through the course of the year. Students exiting the course will have a strong understanding of how historians organize history, how to develop a complex thesis driven response to historical questions and how to tie regional historical events into the context of world history.

AP Human Geography

Human Geography

 This college level course is an in-depth rigorous study of how geographic interaction has shaped the world in which we live, particularly the themes of globalization and cultural diversity. Students will examine geography from a social science perspective, though physical science will also be emphasized in order to contextualize the region of study. The course is organized into seven units of study: Geography-Its Nature and Perspectives; Population; Cultural Patterns and Processes; Political Organization of Space; Agriculture and Rural Land Use; Industrialization and Economic Development; and Cities and Urban Land Use. Students will investigate key geographic, economic and social themes with a focus on improving their critical reading of text and maps, researching, writing, note taking, outlining and verbal skills through class discussion, presentations and written formats. Students will gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of the modern world and build confidence in their ability to be global citizens and leaders. 

Honors Government and Diplomacy

This course focuses on the institutions, issues and challenges present in the global realm of diplomacy and foreign policy. Using both the United States and other nations as case studies, students will examine how power is created, attained and shared. Components of study will include both Institutions (executive, legislature, courts, bureaucracy, media) and processes (elections, interest groups, grass roots movements). Students will also study specific contemporary issues of diplomacy compiled annually by the Foreign Policy Association. Each week (or two) students will discuss and analyze a reading dealing with a current issue in global foreign policy. Examples include Russia’s foreign policy, the relationship between China and America, South Africa’s fragile democracy, and the media and foreign policy. Finally, students will study specific skills inherent in successful diplomacy: tact, negotiation, discretion, and communication. Readings, quizzes, exams, oral presentation and debates will all be components of skill development and assessment. Periodic short position/advocacy papers will be assigned, and a longer format paper will culminate coursework. 

International Relations

This unique elective introduces students to the United Nations experience while investigating topics of national and international significance. Students represent international diplomats for an assigned country at Harvard University’s Model United Nations in January. Students will develop and refine research, writing, oral presentation and time management skills.

The Vietnam Experience

This trimester elective examines the American involvement in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.  The course introduces students to the history, writing, cinematography and music of the Vietnam War and time period. Texts utilized include The Vietnam War, A Rumor of War and The Things They Carried. The class is a seminar-discussion based exercise, which requires student preparation and active participation. 

U.S. History

This course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and an understanding of content learning objectives organized around seven themes, such as identity, peopling, and America in the world. In line with college and university U.S. history survey courses’ increased focus on early and recent American history and decreased emphasis on other areas, the AP U.S. History course expands on the history of the Americas from 1491-1607 and from 1980-present. The course will explore nine different periods of U.S. history. Students develop ability in distinguishing fact from opinion, using primary sources, analyzing and synthesizing information, relating cause and effect, and presenting and defending personal perspectives based upon historical information. Students also learn to integrate cultural and social history to literature of the times. Research/reading beyond the text is often required and is expected for many assignments.  

U.S. History for ESL students

his course is designed to give international students an introduction to the development of America’s social, political and cultural traditions from colonial times through the American Civil War. Students develop an awareness of the cultural and geographic diversity of the United States and are exposed to differing viewpoints of the American people through the use of textbooks, supplementary readings, relevant websites and current news sources. The class focuses on key research and writing skills including note-taking, outlining, essay preparation and proper source citation.  

World History

Starting with the emergence of agriculture, this course investigates the development of humans, technology, and the environment. Students will explore world history through themes of power, identity, justice, and moral codes. Using A Compact History of Humankind: The History of the World in Big Eras, the course content includes a combination of broad historical backgrounds and in-depth case studies of specific groups, regions, and people. Throughout the year, we cultivate the necessary skills sets to succeed in a history-based course, including comprehension of content, research, analysis and interpretation, chronological reasoning, and application of historical concepts. Students develop these skills by critically reading primary and secondary sources, writing, presenting, negotiating and working collaboratively. 


 

Meet our History & Global Studies faculty