Modern World History: Developing Globally-Conscious Students

As the “Connecting Historical Thinking and Technology” series quickly comes to an end, it is important to discuss how the current Ohio standards for Modern World History courses connect with the research of historical thinking done by Sam Wineburg and Daisy Martin It is also crucial that educators understand how to implement technology into their Modern History courses, so that students are not only engaged in the lesson materials, but are competent to use similar resources in future job opportunities. The current Ohio standards for such courses aim to give students a global perspective to help them relate to the larger world around them in addition to helping them understand various viewpoints that differ from their own. Modern World History courses are now geared towards not only helping students understand the events of the past, but also to help them become more globally-conscious citizens.
While the current Ohio standards for Modern World History courses do focus on specific time periods throughout ages past, the overarching emphasis within these standards is helping students develop historical and critical thinking skills. Through assignments that deal with the analysis of primary source documents and previous historical decisions, students are given the opportunity to further their own knowledge in relation to the topic, in addition to understanding how to reach conclusions based upon information from a wide range of sources. Current Modern World History standards highlight the need for students to understand the overarching themes and principles from the content they learn by asking them to identify cause-and-effect relationships, sequence of events, and correlation between one event to another. Approaching history courses in this manner helps students to understand the history is not made up of disjointed and unrelated events, but rather is a series of building blocks and motivations that all connect and relate back to one another. Online resources such as EyeWitness to History also incorporate the focus from these standards that students should try to think from the viewpoint of someone else when examining any type of world event.
Within the new Ohio Modern World History standards, an emphasis on globalization integrates the use and understanding of technology as it relates to the interconnectedness of events and people all over the world. Students are encouraged to analyze why issues such as environmental sustainability have moved to the forefront of a collective world consciousness by looking at advances in technology and communication globally. Using technology within Modern World History courses not only makes the information more engaging and relatable to students, but also provides them the opportunity to see the “bigger picture” of the information they are learning about. As they students engage in research and exploration through technological resources, they will begin to understand the interconnectedness of people and events all around the world and realize that history is simply a series of behaviors and motivations that have built upon one another throughout the course of time.
As the definition of historical thinking is examined against the Modern World History standards for high school courses, it is clear that these standards greatly emphasize the sourcing and analysis of primary sources aspects. Students in these courses are required to analyze primary and secondary sources in regards to a particular topic. on a regular basis These exercises not only help students to better understand the time period they are learning about, but also to help develop their own ability to reach a conclusion based on careful research and scrutiny of information. The current standards for Modern World History courses also help students to understand history from multiple accounts and perspectives as they attempt to piece together events of the past by analyzing the lives and behaviors of others. In order to help students think critically and historically, they are asked on several occasions to adopt the perspective of someone that lived through a historic event, thus causing them to consider other motivations and feelings that they may not have considered otherwise.
Check back soon for ideas on how to implement technological resources in your Modern World History classroom! Feel free to comment below or send us your comments, questions and concerns on Twitter (@ToriMcDonough22 or @SocialStudiesatCSU)!