Ninth Ancient Civilizations
9th grade history is a survey of political philosophy, ethics, sociology, and economics, and how these fields of study each inform human solutions for the modern world. The syllabus is designed to provide a historical foundation on which to build a contemporary and empathetic understanding of sustainability (specifically, as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) in political, socioeconomic, and environmental contexts. Using pre-civilization, antiquity, and the current geopolitical landscape as vehicles for these conversations, the course seeks to develop individual and collaborative compassion, a capacity for analysis and persuasion, and a solutions-driven mindset to serve students both in their ninth grade and in future studies of history and human interaction.
The first trimester investigates early man and the Neolithic Revolution, exploring the economic and sociological factors that led to the first permanent settlements and civilizations, as well as the effects of permanent human settlement. Greece and Rome provide the underpinnings of the second trimester; students will use extensive primary source material and comparative analytics to learn how and why people are governed. The Harkness-style discussion model will be used extensively in each term, and students will write persuasive essays and complete summative group projects in debate and summit formats to assess skill development and understanding of material. In the final term, students will incorporate what they have learned throughout the year and in other disciplines to create a morally defensible and practical solution to a global sustainability challenge.