History & Social Studies

Why did the world become so unequal?  Why have some societies developed more quickly than others?  How come Europe conquered the Americas and not the other way around?  Help your students understand these essential questions by learning the theories that Jared Diamond presented his Pulitzer-prize winning book, Guns, Germs and Steel.   Professor Diamond dispels any ideas of racial inequality to claim that power has nothing to do with personal qualities, but with geographic advantages.  He expertly weaves geography and history to provide a clear picture as to why some countries have developed more quickly, enabling them to take over other, less-developed nations.  Using the PBS documentary based on the book and the accompanying website, you will gain a clear understanding of Diamond’s research and develop ways to apply his ideas in the classroom.  Additionally, students taking the course for 500 level will explore ideas from his latest book Collapse, on what causes societies to collapse.  This course is most appropriate to Grades 6-12 History or Geography teachers and World or Global Studies teachers.

There will be no additional fee for those with a Netflix subscription.  Otherwise, fee will vary with choice of video purchase or alternate book. 


We advise you to review and download a summary of the course syllabus before registering. Summary

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Course No. ED459a, ED559a

Tuition $360 – $475

Quarter Credits 6

K-12 educators will develop invaluable lessons for their students around issues of equity, social justice and the human rights of the child by examining the texts, "A Critical Inquiry Framework for K-12 Teachers: Lessons and Resources from the U.N. Rights of the Child" and "Teaching Human Rights: Practical Activities for Primary and Secondary Schools.” In addition, a review of related literature, websites and videos will enable you to integrate these human rights issues into your curriculum and engage your students with thoughtful inquiry based lessons and activities. The development of a service-learning project will culminate the course.
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