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Teacher:                                   Mr. Darren Morgan

Room:                                     127


Email for student work:

Cell Phone:                              (415) 652 4072



Modern World History Syllabus 2014-15

Course Overview:

Welcome to Modern World History. We will be studying many histories, from different parts of the world, from the Age of Industrialism to the present day. Traditionally, this course has been taught with a strong focus on western European history, but this year we aim to challenge this biased paradigm. Because European nations had such an influence on the world during the period, they will often be part of the narrative we explore. However, we will aim to look at events and topics with a critical eye, and from the point of view of the colonized, rather than the colonizer. We may ask, for instance, how African nations remained culturally distinct, in spite of European efforts to “civilize” them. Our first unit will look at drug trafficking, not from the point of view of the United States, but from that of the people in Mexico. Each of our inquiries will be based around guiding essential questions, many of which you will develop yourself. In addition, if there are any topics that you want to explore specifically, we’ll try to make room in the class for these too.

Unit Unit
1 Mexico and the Cartels 5 Totalitarianism and World War Two
2 Industrialization 6 Life During Peacetime
3 Imperialism 7 Military Dictatorships in Latin America
4 The Great War 8 Exhibition

Common Core: In addition to Modern World History, this is also a literacy class. Aspire has adopted the Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies. These are not content specific. Rather, they focus on firstly developing the skills needed to read deeply and with purpose, and secondly to construct evidence based arguments, both in writing and during discussion. These are vital college skills that apply to any discipline area you decide to pursue in the future.

Required Materials: Everyday, students must bring their 3-ringed binder, containing a college bound notebook with a dedicated Government section. This year, we will be utilizing available technology as much as possible. Many of our reading and writing assignments will require you to work online, both in and out of class. Students are not required to have Internet access at home, but some assignments will require the use of online sources. If you have concerns about your ability to engage with such activities, please speak to your teacher so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty


  • All work for this class must be your original ideas and thoughts. Cheating on any assignment or plagiarizing another’s work (copying their work) will not be tolerated. You will receive an automatic zero for the assignment, as well as further consequences. All use of sources must be cited appropriately.



  • ASSESSMENTS: tests, quizzes, writing assignments, projects, Socratic Seminars    60%
  • WRITTEN WORK: workbook notes, handouts, Googledocs, presentations, online assignments, and homework.                                                                                       20%
  • PARTICIPATION: Weekly grade including timeliness, engagement, discussion, independent work, group work                                                                            20%

Grading Scale:

A+ 97-100% B+ 87-89% C+ 77-79% D+ 67-69% F 50*-59%
A 93-96% B 83-86% C 73-76% D 63-66%
A- 90-92% B- 80-82% C- 70-72% D- 60-62%


Due Dates In order to receive credit:


  • Written work must be turned on the date and at the specified time. Late written work will usually not be graded. Any exceptions are at my discretion, and will only be considered following a conference. Please note even if you miss a class, you are still responsible for completing all the assignments from that day.
  • Assessments: Must be completed and turned in on the date indicated. Late take home writing assignments and projects loose 10 percentage grade points for every day after the specified due date

I also accept late work due to legitimate absence if you contact me at least eight hours before the assignment is due. This can be done via email, text, or in person.

Making Up Assessments: You usually have the chance to make up grades on assessments that you didn’t perform well on, provided that you do so within a pre-determined timeframe. The make up policy is as follows:

  • Quizzes and unit tests: You can receive half a point for each point lost on the original assessment. For example, if you received 5/10 on a quiz, you can get an extra 2.5 points by completing the make-up assignment, adjusting the score up to 7.5/10 (a “C”, rather than an “F”).
  • Essays: Make up formal essay assignments for full credit, providing that you:
    • Turn the original draft in on time.
    • Conference with me about revising your draft

The final score will reflect the one you received on the revised draft. Multiple revisions are sometimes given as an option.

Extra-Credit: Once you’ve completed all make-up assessments, you may also request an extra-credit assignment to further improve your grade.

Questions: If you have any about what you have just read, then please ask. If not, please sign and date below to verify that you understand the requirements to participate and pass this course. We’ll keep a copy each for future reference.

Student Signature: _________________________________        Date_________________