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Asia: The New Silk Road: A History of Asia from 1800 to the Present


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A land full of rich culture and vast resources, Asia is a region that has a profound impact on the world’s culture, economics, and politics. This course covers the years 1800 to the Present, discussing European conquests and the Opium Wars to the present-day Chinese Communist Party and its effects on the broader region. In class, students will learn about the major events that shaped this region, Asia’s relationships with other world powers, the economics and driving forces of the region, the environment, and how events in Asia influence us today. This course surveys the history of major Asian countries such as China, Indian, Japan, and Vietnam and touches on the culture, music, literature, and art of the people who live there. This course also discusses the major religions of these people groups and how Christians can think about these religions and minister to these people groups.

Class time will consist of lectures and discussion time over a short work or one of the assigned books. Weekly takeaways and key terms help students to synthesize and remember the information they learn. There will be weekly assignments focused on building the student’s ability to interpret primary sources such as a historical document, a piece of art, or a piece of literature. There will be three open-book, open-note essay tests. Rather than asking multiple choice questions, this testing format helps students learn how to gather and summarize the information they learned in lectures and then formulate an argument for why a specific event mattered to history and matters to us today. Throughout the semester, students will also work towards a larger “A Region in Focus” project, where students analyze news articles about a selected region, teaching them how to be well-informed about world events. At the end of the semester, students will give a short, recorded presentation about their region to their peers. A number of smaller assignments are geared towards more creative expressions, such as cooking a dish from the student’s region of focus.

This course is perfect for students 9th-12th grade.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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More books will be listed soon; please contact the teacher with questions.

The final book list will be ready by July 1, 2024.

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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