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This course is the first year of the two-year IB History Higher Level (HL) course. In year one, students will cover the World History topics: Rights and Protest Movements, the Evolution of Democratic States, and the Cold War.  Students will also hone their skills in source analysis and independent research.  In year two, students will focus exclusively on History of the Americas..
 
Students will engage in a variety of activities, but should expect to spend the majority of time reading, writing, researching, and discussing historical events and patterns.  Students should expect to spend an average of 5-10 hours/week on homework.
 

The Internal Assessment (sometimes called the Historical Investigation, “I A” or “H I”) will be embedded throughout the year on a weekly basis. This is an independent research paper focused on a topic of the student’s choice. Students will develop a research question, conduct research, and write a 2,200-word essay. The final version is due in Quarter 3.

Semester 1: Evolution of Democratic States and Rights & Protest Movements (RPM, embedded)
Each case study will consider the structure of the government, government policies, and political, social, & economic challenges of the society.
  • India, 1947 – 1964
  • The United States, 1920 – 1974
    • (RPM) The US Civil Rights Movement 1954-65
  • South Africa, 1991 – 2000
    • (RPM) Resistance to Apartheid in South Africa 1948-64

Semester 2: Cold War

  • Origins of the Cold War, including historiography
    • Themes include: detente, Sino-American & Sino-Soviet relations
    •  Case Studies beyond the Superpowers
      • Cuba
      • Germany
  • Containment in Korea and Vietnam
  • End of the Cold War
    • Gorbachev & Reagan
    • 1989 Revolutions
Concepts, themes and categories play an important role in the IB History course. They allow you to see the bigger picture, to compare and contrast and to think more analytically and critically about events in the past.
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Below is an overview of the key concepts built into the course. (causation, consequence, continuity, change, significance and perspectives). Other examples of categories and themes are: social, historical, economic, political, technological, causes, practices, effects, rise and fall, consolidation, power, minorities, violence, peace, peacemaking, cooperation, civil war, total war, foreign intervention, foreign policy, domestic policy, ideology etc etc.
You can create your question using one of these themes. 
 
Useful website about historical thinking and concepts here: http://historicalthinking.ca/historical-thinking-concepts
 
The description below is taken from the IB History Guide. 
 
Change
The study of history involves investigation of the extent to which people and events bring about change. You should think about, and look for change, even if some claim none exists. You can also look for evidence to challenge orthodox theories and assumptions about people and events which led to significant change. Your questions and judgments about historical change should be based on deep understanding of content and on comparison of the situation before and after the events under examination. 
 
Continuity
While historical study often focuses on moments of significant change, you should also be aware that some change is slow, and that history there is also significant continuity. You can demonstrate deep historical knowledge and understanding by, for example, showing awareness that there are times when there has been considerable continuity in the midst of great historical change. Alternatively, you may question and assess whether a change in political leadership, for example, brought about a change in foreign policy, or whether it was more accurately mirroring policies of previous governments.
 
Causation
Claims about the past try to explain and understand how a certain set of circumstances originated. Deep historical understanding is demonstrated where you recognize that most historical events are caused by an interplay of diverse and multiple causes that require you to make evidence-based judgments about which causes were more important or significant, or which causes were within the scope of individuals to direct and which were not.  Click here to read a great explanation of Cause and Effect by Historian Richard Pipes. 
 
Consequence
History is the understanding of how forces in the past have shaped future people and societies. You demonstrate competency as a historical thinker when you understand and explain how significant events and people have had both short-term and long-lasting effects. You use evidence and interpretations of those people and events to make comparisons between different points in time, and to make judgments about the extent to which those forces produced long-lasting and important consequences.
 
Significance
History is not simply the record of all events that have happened in the past.
Instead, history is the record that has been preserved through evidence or traces of the past, and/or the aspects that someone has consciously decided to record and communicate. You should ask questions about why something may have been recorded or included in a historical narrative. Similarly, you should think about who or what has been excluded from historical narratives, and for what reasons. Additionally, you should think about, and assess, the relative importance of events, people, groups or developments, and whether the evidence supports the claims that others make about their significance.
 
Perspectives
You should be aware of how history is sometimes used or abused to retell and promote a grand narrative of history, a narrowly focused national mythology that ignores other perspectives, or to elevate a single perspective to a position of predominance. You should challenge and critique multiple perspectives of the past, and compare them and corroborate them with historical evidence. You should recognize that for every event recorded in the past, there may be multiple contrasting or differing perspectives. Using primary-source accounts and historians’ interpretations, you may also investigate and compare how people, including specific groups such as minorities or women, may have experienced events differently in the past. In this way there are particularly strong links between exploring multiple perspectives and the development of international-mindedness.