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course world history and politics 20th century


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20th Century History, Politics, and Worldview – 1900-1945


Deposit Due at Time of Registration:

This course explores the politics, histories, philosophies, and worldviews of the early 20th century, from 1900 to 1945. A direct precursor to our own age, the events of this century created the world that we live in today. From the Progressive movement of the early 1900s to the beginning of the Cold War at the Yalta Conference, lectures and readings will give students a highly detailed overview of this period.

Major themes will include the rise of socialism and communism; the Lost Generation and its echoes in today; the century’s hopes for a perfect world, and what these themes mean to us as Christians. There will be weekly mini assignments which help the teacher to gauge the student’s understanding of the material and help students work towards their end of term paper with ample feedback. There are two open-book, open-note tests, for which the teacher will provide study guides. At the end of the term, there will be a single five-page, primary source-based research paper. The class will begin working on their papers in the early weeks of the semester with the teacher’s assistance to ensure a smooth research and writing process that engages the student with the historical method. These assignments and the grading process mimic entry level college history courses.

Class times will consist of a lecture and lively discussion over the reading material and various intellectual ideas we encounter. This is a reading heavy course, but students will be introduced to some of the most important literature and historical documents of this period, documents which have greatly impacted the present. Readings range from 15 pages to a book per week, but we have sought to even out the reading load by breaking up larger reading assignments with smaller documents. This class is intended for grades 10th-12th, but younger students may contact the teacher to discuss a lighter course load. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Some of these works deal with mature themes; therefore, this class is best suited to those that can handle mature topics, situations, and themes. The teacher will send a brief description of the content to the parents at the beginning of the semester.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka; ISBN: 0143105248

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque; ISBN:  9780449213940

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn ISBN: 0374534683

Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

(Please searched for used or e-copies, though each of these books should be readily available at your local library)

Portions of selections provided by teacher:

Dubliners by James Joyce

The Love Song of J. Alfred Pruefrock by T.S. Eliot

Marx and Lenin

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Poetry of Anna Akmatova

The Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitzyn

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Claire Pattonenjoys teaching history and various electives for middle school and high-school students. Her classes combine detailed lectures about the history, art, literature, religion, and politics with dynamic in-class discussions about important sources from the era. Claire is passionate about showing students why the past matters to the present and how the past affects them today. She realizes that when students leave her classroom, they may not remember every detail about the Balfour declaration, but she seeks to teach every student how to find information, read and understand primary sources, interrogate data, and communicate well. Mrs. Patton values an active learning environment. Rather than just reading from a textbook, Mrs. Patton teaches students how to understand the material they read, synthesize material from multiple sources, and summarize those items effectively.  Rather than question such as “What color were the curtains in Chapter 5?” Mrs. Patton loves asking questions that help students work through the broader themes of the text and show how people of the past viewed their world and the situations they lived through.

Claire holds a Master of Public History and a Bachelors of History from Oklahoma State University. During her masters, she worked as a teaching assistant and she has independently taught a research writing intensive seminar for upper high-school students. Claire’s scholarly work focuses on women in the west from 1875 to 1945. Past projects include cleanliness and clothing in the Dust Bowl, the women’s Navy auxiliary service in World War 2, and clothing on the American frontier. She has extensive experience working in museums, setting up exhibits, and interacting with the public. During the summer of 2022 she worked at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum as an intern in the curatorial and education departments. Claire has published in Forma Journal (Summer 2021) and currently has a scholarly article out for review at the Western Historical Quarterly. She has presented at numerous academic conferences, including the American Historical Association.

Claire also enjoys teaching sewing to friends both young and old. She began sewing when she was nine and hasn’t let off the foot pedal yet! Claire loves to design her own clothes and bring her creations to life. She took this love into her scholarly work and as a part of her master’s thesis, Claire conducted extensive research and then recreated an original 1875-1885 dress held in the National Cowboy and Western History Museum.

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4 reviews for 20th Century History, Politics, and Worldview – 1900-1945 (5/5 stars)

  1. S.G.

    Ms. Patton — Thank you so much for an amazing class — it was everything I hoped it would be for my student. He was challenged with writing and discussing from a place of critical thinking. It led to some deep dinner conversations as well. I’m thankful for the environment that encourages thinking and discussion rather than rote memorization.

  2. Student B

    I really enjoyed this class. The grading was good, class wasn’t boring, and while it did require a lot of reading, I usually enjoyed the books chosen. Plus the questions that were asked in the reading quizes were always insteresting. They were never just the surface lever “what happened in the book,” there was more of a focus on analysis and how they related to class, as the questions typically were about either the undertones, symbolism, or the human nature involved. All in all really don’t have any faults with this class!

  3. Student J

    Assignments were fun yet deep. Everything was based around critical thinking– a perfect “how to think” and not “what to think” approach. The lectures were always interesting, too. I loved the test format based on writing essays rather than multiple-choice. Honestly, despite how hard I’m trying to think of anything wrong with the class, no faults come to mind.

  4. William

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