If you wish, you may return to the course main page now or go to J. B. Owens' main page for information about the instructor.
On this page you will find the syllabus for J. B. Owens' summer 1998 graduate- level professional development course, History 597, TOPICS IN WORLD HISTORY, 1350-1800. The course is designed for secondary school teachers of History and Social Studies. To move to other pages, point and click on the links indicated in this text by special highlighted areas ("hot links"). If you need to contact the instructor, Dr. Owens, you may send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and e-mail address in the text of your message.
TOPICS IN WORLD HISTORY has been designed to provide a supportive environment in which interested teachers can think about how to introduce central global concerns to their students, consider the foundations on which the national history standards have been drafted, and become more familiar with instructional and other professional uses of computer-mediated communications.
The course is devoted to an examination of (1) the nature of global economy and geography; (2) the impact of epidemic diseases and massive ecological change; (3) competition over the development of better military technology and organization; and (4) the effects of largescale human migration (through a focus on the African slave trade and its consequences throughout the Atlantic world). Students will develop a class module on each topic, and each of these modules will address some aspect of the National Standards for World History.
The course is also designed to promote an active and intense dialogue about the difficulties of encouraging student learning at an adequate level for them to be disposed and intellectually prepared to meet their responsibilities as adults.
You may mail your questions now.
Although I will be available for conferences with individual students in my on-line office, sometimes that may not provide sufficient time for us to interact. For example, we both know that often our schedules will not mesh sufficiently for us to have adequate time to sit down for a discussion of your ideas, questions, and projects. The solution: Send your ideas, questions, and problems to my e-mail address email@example.com, and I promise to respond just as soon as I can. Moreover, by handling the matter in this way, I will have more time to consider what you are saying, check on facts and bibliography, and respond clearly in writing so that you will have a record (I will keep one too). Therefore, you can seek the assistance you need, and you can do so in a way that is compatible with your schedule and life-style.
But it gets better than this. Naturally, I will respond to anything of a personal nature with an individual response to you alone. However, many of your questions and comments, about on-line sources for aspects of your class module designs for example, will be of importance to everyone in the class. Therefore, you will post these messages to a special address from which it will be distributed to me and all other members of the class. The other students and I will do the same with any responses we have to your message. That way I, and you, will derive much more benefit from my interactions with students outside of class. We will be able to have this type of communication because we will all be members of an online discussion list.
Any message sent to the discussion list e-mail address will be sent to the e-mail boxes of all other course members.
This discussion list will not only allow you to raise questions and make comments about reading assignments and classroom activities for which there was too little time in real time ("live") class sessions, it will be vital to the collaborative development of your projects. You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to post statements of your ideas on particular subjects, messages of an informational nature (e.g., about real time meetings among students), and YOUR responses to the questions and requests for help of other students.
Since Internet discussion lists are rapidly becoming a major component of professional communications in all fields, you must learn how to use them well. For suggestions on how to ensure the high quality of your messages and of the responses to them, turn to the page on Using Lists Effectively. You MUST DEVELOP traits that encourage positive forms of interaction among class members if this course is to be a satisfying experience for you and others.
You may also find it intellectually useful and stimulating to join a relevant international list, at least as an observer (a "lurker" in Internet language), and I will advise you on how to find those most appropriate for your needs.
For information about the MOO, visit the web site MOO at ISU and read the section about the instructional use of the MOO in my paper History On-line: Teaching on the Internet.
You may send me your questions now.
"One of the most significant facts about us may finally be that we all begin
with the natural equipment to live a thousand kinds of life but end in the end
having lived only one."
-- Clifford Geertz
All contents copyright © 1998. J. B. Owens All rights reserved.
Revised: 18 May 1998