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letter to my students
>Photos of Old
Habits of Mind,
Heart and Effectiveness
>Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
World History and
"How can knowledge of the past be used
as a tool for success and self defense in the present?"
Six Themes in World History
1. Change and Tradition.
The dynamics of change and continuity across the world
history periods covered in this course, and the causes and processes
involved in major changes of these dynamics.
2. Getting Along with Other People
Patterns and effects of interaction among societies
and regions: trade, war, diplomacy, and international organizations.
3. Human Impact
The effects of technology, economics, and demography
on people and the environment (population growth and decline, disease,
labor systems, manufacturing, migrations, agriculture, weaponry).
4. Customs and Tradition - Continuity - Systems
5. Art, Music and Religion
Cultural, intellectual, and religious developments,
including interactions among and within societies.
6. Political- Changes in functions and
structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political
(political culture), including the emergence of the nation-state (types
of political organization).
The Five Themes in Geography
The Five Themes were developed by the National Council
for Geographic Education to provide an organizing framework for the
presentation of geographic materials.
The Five Themes are as follows:
Position on the Earth's Surface (Absolute/Relative). Geographic study
begins with the location of places on the earth. Places have absolute
locations that pinpoint them on the earth, and relative locations that
place each location in respect to other locations. For example, North
Dakota has an absolute location that can be pointed to on any basic
map. It also has a relative location in that it has a location within
the economic system based on its characteristics and location within
the world market. North Dakota has its absolute location's
characteristics for soil and climate, yet the success of wheat growing
is also related to its location to the edge of more expensive arm land
to the east.
2. Place: Physical and Human
Characteristics. Place have physical and human characteristics that
make them what they are. Geography emphasizes the understanding of both
of these factors and their integration together.
Interactions: Shaping the Landscape. The landscape of
the earth is no longer a purely physical feature. Human have impact
every area of the earth, but in varying ways. The geography of places
is influenced by the degree to which humans have impacted their local
Humans Interacting on the Earth. The postmodern world is one of great
interaction between places. This movement is inherently geographic,
whether it is by telecommunications or ship.
How They Form and Change. The essential geographic feature is the
region. A region is any unit of space that is unified by the presence
of some characteristic. The Corn Belt, stretching from Indiania to
eastern Nebraska, is an area in which corn is a dominating product. The
Corn Belt is a region within the United States.