“If we rely on past and present data to predict future events, the weakness of the model we use will reside in its capacity to cope with genuine novelty. One response to this might be to account for such novelty as once-in-a-lifetime chance occurrence. But one of the conclusions we might draw from the Centre for Social Ontology’s Social Morphogenesis project is that social novelty is being generated at an ever-increasing rate.”
[Interesting discussion of the concept of novelty, using the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign for examples. Brainstorming or scaffolding about novelty with the class is a tremendous way to introduce or conclude units!]
If you’re a Canvas® LMS user, pilot one of our programs between now and the end of the semester for free!
With end of term testing just weeks away, WorldView is offering schools free unlimited access to one of our social studies products via Canvas® at no cost through the end of this school year. Our interactive workbook-style programs can be used as your digital textbook, as a supplementary aid in class, as a test prep tool, or for credit recovery.
All WorldView titles can be seamlessly embedded into your on-line Canvas® courses utilizing a single sign-on. Canvas® tracking remains fully operational. Just contact WorldView for a Consumer key and Shared Secret of the title of your choosing.
Each student receives a personal account with access to the entire WorldView product. Our comprehensive programs include hundreds of writing activities, thousands of test or study questions, and a plethora of resource material: biographies, chronologies, glossaries, original source documents, and much, much, more.
Visit our website, www.worldviewsoftware.com, for more information on all our social studies titles. (If you’re not a Canvas® user, contact us for a regular product preview.)
Use the answers to the “Questions for Thought” in the overview as a note-taking guided exercise.
The thought experiments of certain social theories are not far off from such stories. So very many people have attempted to imagine the nature of a human isolated from social connections. Chapter XIII in Thomas Hobbes’ book, The Leviathan would be a good example. So, would be the calculations of many rational choice theorists, those attempting to find the self-interest in just about any human interaction.
An interesting meditation on how the best (certainly the most widely read and influential) science fiction is always about social science.
Whether your class is studying politics, history, economics, or geography, there is fiction that imagines what changing a particular parameter or two of that world would do to social relations. From the fantasy world of L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz series, which can be read as an allegory of late 19th century American politics, to Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Left Hand of Darkness, which examined gender roles and relations, science fiction can provide a window into examining your subject, helping students to make connections and evaluate arguments.
The March equinox is when the days and nights are of equal length as the days get longer and the nights get shorter in the northern hemisphere and vice versa in the southern hemisphere. This change in the angle of the sun is the result of the earth’s orbit, which causes its tilting axis to point in a different direction. And it means that spring is starting in the northern hemisphere and fall is starting in the southern hemisphere. In 2017, the vernal equinox falls on Monday, March 20th.
Learn more about how the earth’s orbit and axis tilt work in WorldView Software’s World GeographyChapter 2: The Earth. For example, you can use this graphic (with introduction and questions) to spark class discussion, or as a starting point for a demonstration:
The equinoxes (like the solstices) are events that have huge impacts on life on earth (think: growing food). And given that importance, they’ve had a tremendous impact on the development of methods to keep track of and predict their occurrence: mathematics. For example, it’s thought that Stonehenge’s purpose is tracking solar and lunar movements:
WorldView Software’s World History A also has a terrific series of tutorials explaining how mathematics based on observance of astronomical phenomena developed in different civilizations:
Ancient Chinese Science, Technology, and Mathematics
Ancient Indian Science and Mathematics
Greek Accomplishments in Science, Technology, and Mathematics
Math and Technology in the River Valley Civilizations
Science, Mathematics, and Technology in the Islamic Caliphates
Technical Trends in Pre-Columbian Latin America
Use the equinox as a springboard into history!
Use the chronology entries to gain context for an event or an era, or as a starting point for further research.
Need sources in multiple languages or from other countries? You can find open educational resources in English, French, and Portuguese at OER@AVU, an initiative of the African Virtual University.
These resources are mostly in the physical sciences, but they don’t have to be used for just that — in a global studies unit, you could use them as an example of what students in Senegal (for instance) are studying.
African Virtual University (AVU) is “a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization whose aim is to significantly increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies.” The governments involved are from Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, and South Sudan.
Time travel using art with the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: essays, art images and objects, and chronologies that use the Met’s fabulous collection to delve into the contexts that made the art possible. For example, the featured image is “Bowl with Human Feet” and it is thousands of years old.
Period: Predynastic, Late Naqada l–Naqada II
Date: ca. 3900–3650 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt
Medium: Polished red pottery
Dimensions: diam. 13.2 x W. 13.7 x D. 9.8 cm (5 3/16 x 5 3/8 x 3 7/8 in.)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1910
Accession Number: 10.176.113
The timelines have annotated entries that give more information about the society that produced the art. (There are also links to publications and slideshows from the Met that feature the image or object.) More generally, the essays cover topics as diverse as African Lost-Wax Casting through Great Plains Indians Musical Instruments to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
The collection is organized by time period: ancient, medieval, and modern; and by thematic unit: African history, East Asian history, global history, Indian history, Islamic history, Jewish history, history of science, women’s history, and LGBTQ history. (Note that some of the material on this site is under copyright and used by permission, so check before using it in your own materials.)
You can find everything from translations from the world’s first known author, Enheduana, daughter of Sargon, ruler of Akkadia to Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech to baseball.