Dear Mr. De Gree, I have a question about one of the essay assignments from Modern World History. Assignment 5, Age of Imperialism asks the student to trace British imperialism in India from its onset to Indian independence. It also asks the student
Thank you very much for your question. I am extremely interested in how families use my books, and appreciate your thoughts. I also would like to see your child's essay.
It depends on a few variables. When I wrote it as the fifth assignment, I assumed the student had tackled the first four and was comfortable with researching and writing their own paper. I also wrote this book with the idea it is for a 10th or 11th grader. If it is a student who is used to this assignment and wants some academic freedom, I would allow them to structure the essay as they see fit. If the student requires more structure, I would suggest they follow the following advice:
Since I prefer chronology, I would instruct the student to first show what the evidence states about British imperialism from the beginning to Indian independence. Then, at the end of the essay, in the last body paragraph or the last two body paragraphs, I would have the student write the different views of British colonialism. Take a look at the prewriting activities included with this assignment. The first is about the history of British in India. The second is an Englishman's viewpoint of colonization, and the third is an Indian's viewpoint. The student could follow these activities as their rough blueprint of how the essay could be structured.
I hope I have answered your question. Please let me know if the answer helped.
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I haven't done much Socratic discussion so think of me as a novice. Can I learn this method and use it well?
The Teaching the Socratic Discussion DVD program was created for the beginner. If there is a fault with the program, it might be that there is some repetition in the introduction and introductory chapters of the binder, in order to teach the teacher who does not have much experience with this type of learning. Also, we at The Classical Historian are available for any tutoring help you may need in implementing the program. We are eager to help home school moms and classroom teachers. Any help you need will be given to you. However, please know that this program requires thinking and intellectual work on the part of the teacher. You will not be able to "push play" and have the child succeed. It is an interactive program and requires student-teacher interaction. To have it succeed, the teacher has to invest some time. My family uses a math curriculum where our children can push "play" and it works. However, with the Socratic discussion, it requires a caring teacher who asks good questions and gets the best out of their children or students.
The DVDs for Ancient Civilizations and Medieval Civilizations, plus the Ancient Civilizations Teacher/Student Editions part of the Teaching the Socratic Discussion DVD program- all for $149.
Some students are frustrated they cannot find all of the anwers right away for the Take a Stand! books. What do I do?
I've noticed that with my new students, it takes a few assignments before they feel like everything is going well. New students don't seem to get it until after a few assignments. Before that, they are always asking, "What's the answer?" Maybe this is the same feeling that a few of your students are having. There is no "one" answer with open-ended questions, and this may be the main issue your students are going to have to understand, but it will take time. As far as the graphic organizers are concerned, it may be that students are not used to pulling out the most important information from a non-fictional text. This takes practice, and it is not always easy.
For the first writtten assignment, I strongly recommend that you write in class. Review with the students possible correct essays. The main thing with the first or second assignment, is that they see the possible different answers and learn how to support their answers with evidence. Make the first draft a rough draft. Read it but don't put a grade on it. Let the students rewrite it.
If you are beginning class in September, everything seems to calm down right before Thanksgiving.
The books have a written explanation how the course works when I wrote if for a classroom setting. The DVD curriculum explains the rationale of the method to a home school parent, walks the parent and child through the first complete assignment where the child practices all the skills of the historian, and the DVD shows me leading two different groups of students through Socratic discussions based on the ancient and medieval curriculum. The DVD provides real footage of Socratic Discussions based on the Ancient Civilizations and Medieval Civilizations curriculum, along with in depth tips of how a teacher can bring out the best in their student discussions.
To conduct a middle ages Socratic discussion would I need to buy the Introductory Teacher and Student Instructional DVD AND the Take a Stand! Medieval Civilizations or just one of them?
It depends how much you have already conducted Socratic discussions. I can't assess exactly what you need, since I am not sure how much you have taught and how comfortable you are in leading a discussion. The DVDs show students learning the tools of the historian, and your child and you can learn these tools along with the DVD lesson. The DVD also shows Socratic Discussions based on the Ancient and Medieval World curriculum.
All history texts Take a Stand! books use show the influence religion plays in shaping history and the authors wrote them in the Judeo-Christian tradition. This means, that the books were written by Christians who were writing as historians, not as theologians.
In the establishment of cultural, legal, social, and religious norms of western man, attention is paid to the ancient Hebrews, Judaism and Christianity, and the establishment of organized Christian religions. When the student studies the Arab civilizations after the middle of the seventh century, importance is placed on the religion of Islam. When the student studies medieval Asian civilizations, attention is placed on the influence of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, and Taoism. In cases where there are civilizations where all religions exist, such as modern United States, the student studies the role these religions play in shaping American history. When the religion plays a role world wide, such as Christianity in Medieval Japan, students are asked to evaluate this role.
As historians do, Take a Stand! students learn and evaluate the role religion has played in shaping the history of people. The books we recommend do not proselytize, that is, they do not actively engage in converting someone to a particular faith or away from a particular faith. On the other hand, the books we recommend highly value the role faith and religion have played in the history of mankind, and religion is given a position of honor among the influences in history.
Because the Take a Stand! books are guides HOW to study and analyze history, the parent is encouraged to choose any source or sources they want their children to read from. We recommend that the older the student, the more primary sources are used, and the more varied sources are used. The older student should be able to analyze a secular as well as a religious text, and be able to state his opinion on both of them in a logical and persuasive manner.
No. The Distance Learning program provides all history materials, the instructional DVD program, and complete essay grading for one year.
For the 11 - 17 year olds, homework for the student involves between one - four hours per week. Most of the homework is time spent reading and researching history. According to the California State Department of Education, students should read approximately two grade level novels per month. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is considered to be a 7th or 8th grade novel. Researching history kills two birds with one stone. It improves reading comprehension in an area many kids have trouble reading: nonfiction reading. And, students learn history.
Teaching with the Take a Stand! series helps me get to know my children and students better and it helps them how to think critically, form historical judgement, and express themselves in speech and in writing.