Description (syllabus) for 2010
“Critical Connections” is a professional development curriculum for elementary, middle and high school teachers designed to improve their knowledge and appreciation of traditional American history by focusing on critical connections in America’s past. The curriculum emphasizes the comparative nature of American history by examining twelve intersections in which universal influences combined to help define the development of the United States as a nation and change the course of world history. These twelve intersections illustrate the relevance and global importance of American history while providing teachers with an organizational structure to help students understand—and get excited about—the universal ideas and issues running through America’s past. In short, “Critical Connections” provides teachers with a thematic construct around which to frame questions and organize their thinking and teaching about American history in a global context.
A Nation among Nations: the United States in the 19th Century
Unit/day 1: “As Various as Their Land”: immigration and “the American Economic Miracle”
Unit/day 2: Free v. slave societies: a universal shift in social relations
Unit/day 3: The incorporation of America: industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of consumer society
Unit/day 4: American frontiers: imperialism at home and abroad
Unit/day 5: Documents and artifacts session