World Geography and Culture Syllabus
Mr. Patrick Day is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Southwest State University with a B.A in History and a minor in Anthropology. He is a member of the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society for the Social Sciences. He has Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
School phone: 507.374.6305
Web site: http://www.triton.portal.rschooltoday.com
This World Cultures course is a combination of Geography and Cultural Anthropology. It is designed to introduce the student to the concepts of culture in human experience and the concepts of geography. What culture is, how it develops, how it changes, and how it is transferred in time and space, its power to influence our lives and events, are some of the main topics examined. Because of the substantial influence of religion on human cultures and history, understanding major world religions will also be a focus of the course. Of course, such topics as the role of family, language, art, political ideologies, government types, gender roles, work, status and rank, war, and children are also examined. The students will become familiar with the “places” of the world by memorizing major locations and features as well as study the Minnesota standards for Geography. The following is from the Minnesota Academic Standards in Social Studies for
What is Geography?
Geography is the science of space and place on Earth’s surface. It is an integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of our world. Geography’s subject matter is the spatial arrangement of the physical and human phenomena that make up the world’s environments and gives character to places, large and small. Geography describes the changing patterns of places in words, maps, numbers and graphics, explains how these patterns come to be, and unravels their meaning.
Geography captures the imagination. It stimulates curiosity about the world and the world’s diverse inhabitants and places as well as about local regions and global issues. It enables us to understand our home by opening windows on the rest of the world.
Why study Geography?
To be successful contributors to a democratic society, all individuals need to have an understanding of geography, which means that they need to have an understanding of the spatial context of people, places and environments on Earth.
The geographically literate person knows where important things are, why they are located in those places and the significance of the locational patterns of the world. Furthermore, she comprehends the nature and significance of multiple connections between people and places around the world.
This statement on the nature of geographic education is based on Geography for Life: National Geography Standards developed by the Geography Education Standards Project on behalf of the American Geographical Society, Association of American Geographers, National Council for Geographic Education and the National Geographic Society.
This course will be a combination of readings, lecture/discussion, video, internet research and student presentations. Becasue of the nature of this course, which is really a combinaton of Cultural Anthropology and World Geography, we will be making extensive use of the abundance of videos currently availble to “see” and “hear” the various places and cultures we will be examining. It is important that the student approach the videos in the same manner she would a reading assignment, that is as a tool to learn something. The videos are carefully selected and are not intended for entertainment purposes. To benefit from them they require a serious, open minded approach.
Grades will be based upon the following: Homework= 15%, Projects= 10%, Quizzes= 15%, Tests 50%, Final= 10%.
One of my primary responsibilities is to teach all the students in my classroom. Each student has a legal right to learn, therefore I am obligated, as best I can, to protect each student’s right to learn. No student has a right to prevent other students from learning by disruptive behavior. The following policies will help maintain a positive and comfortable learning environment:
1) Students are to come to class on time.
2) Students must sit in their assigned seats.
3) Students must not move their desks around unless instructed to do so.
4) All assignments are due on the day posted on the board. Late work will be docked points unless student has made prior arrangements. Assignments must be handed in
within two school days of due date to receive any credit.
5) If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to hand in any work due from the time gone.
6) If a student is absent, it is the student’s responsibility to make up any quiz or test missed during absence. Tests and quizzes should be made up as soon as possible upon return to school. If a student does not make up a missed quiz or test within a week, Mr. Day may enter zero points for that exam into the grade book.
7) All make up tests must be taken in Mr. Day’s classroom.
8) Students are not to leave the classroom without Mr. Day’s permission.
9) Extra credit assignments may not be done during last week of a quarter and may not be done in place of regular assignments.
10) Students must not disrupt learning by excessive talking, note passing, throwing things around room, etc. All students are expected to put forth reasonable effort and cooperation.
11) Mr. Day will not tolerate any bullying by any student. Students are encouraged to report any bullying or any kind of emotional abuse.
12) All assignments are posted on the white-board in the classroom. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of their assignments and complete them on time.
If Mr. Day can not work out all behavior issues with a student, the student will be referred to high school principal and or parents will be notified.
Course Content: I. Cultural Concepts
1. Define the concept of culture, the role it plays in human affairs, and the main concepts associated with it, especially: acculturation, traits, diffusion, ethnocentrism, mores, taboo, subculture, values, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, controversy over “universals” and “human nature”, symbolling, and identity issues.
2. Describe the typical family structures found in world cultures, the roles of father, mother, children, marriage, and the role of work.
3. Each student will be able to explain what the "multiculturalism" and "cultural diversity" movements are and the basic issues relating to them in modern society.
4. Each student will be able to explain the main concepts of the world's major religions: Animism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism.
5. Describe the role of political ideologies in the shaping world cultures and history.
Each student will be able to explain the main concepts of the world's major political ideologies: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Fascism, Communism and Anarchism.
6. Describe the basic forms of governments: monarchy, aristrocacy, oligarchy, democracy, and republics.
7. Explain the role of the philosophy in shaping culture and history. Each student will be exposed to the basic ideas of key philosophies of the world: Idealism, Materialism, Rationalism, Skepticism, Pragmatism, Positivism, Existentialism, Nihilism, and Postmodernism.
8. Describe the way that geography contributes to and affects culture.
II. Geography Concepts
Memorization of Places
Each student will memorize and be able to correctly locate on a blank map the world’s major physical features, nations, and cities.
The following are the actual Academic Standards from Minnesota Department of Education Standards:
A. Essential Skill
Standard: The student will use maps, globes, geographic information systems, and other databases to answer geographic questions at a variety of scales from local to global.
1. Students will demonstrate the ability to obtain geographic information from a variety of print and electronic sources.
2. Students will make inferences and draw conclusions about the character of places based on a comparison of maps, aerial photos, and other images.
3. Students will demonstrate the ability to use geographic information from a variety of sources to determine feasible locations for economic activities and examine voting behavior.
B. Spatial Organization
Standard: The student will understand the regional distribution of the human population at local to global scales and its patterns of change.
1. Students will describe the pattern of human population density in the United States and major regions of the world.
2. Students will provide examples that illustrate the impact changing birth and death rates have on the growth of the human population in the major regions of the world.
3. Students will use population pyramids and birth and death rates to compare and contrast the characteristics of regional populations at various scales.
4. Students will use the concepts of push and pull factors to explain the general patterns of human movement in the modern era, including international migration, migration within the United States and major migrations in other parts of the world.
C. Spatial Organization
Standard: The student will describe and provide examples of the primary factors behind the regional pattern of culture groups in the United States and the world.
1. Students will use regions to analyze the locational patterns of culture groups at various scales.
2. Students will use concepts and models of the process of diffusion to interpret the spread of culture traits.
3. Students will describe the regional distribution of the major culture groups of the United States (as defined by the U.S. census) and recent patterns of change.
4. Students will cite a variety of examples that illustrate how landscapes reflect the cultural characteristics of their inhabitants.
D. Spatial Organization
Standard: The student will explain how the regionalization of space into political units affects human behavior.
1. Students will understand the concept of nationalism and of sovereign political states and how sovereignty is impacted by international agreements.
2. Students will provide examples of the impact of political boundaries on human behavior and economic activities.
3. Students will understand the patterns of colonialism and how its legacy affects emergence of independent states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as the tensions that arise when boundaries of political units do not correspond to nationalities of people living within them.
4. Students will evaluate a map of proposed voting districts according to the criteria of clarity, size, and compactness that districts are supposed to meet.
C. Spatial Organization
Standard: The student will analyze the patterns of location, functions, structure, and characteristics of local to global settlement patterns and the processes that affect the location of cities.
1. Students will describe the contemporary patterns of large cities.
2. Students will describe the processes that have produced this pattern of cities.
3. Students will describe how changes in transportation and communication technologies affected the urbanization of the United States.
4. Students will describe how changes in transportation technology, government policies, lifestyles, and cycles in economic activity impact the suburbanization of the United States.
5. Students will explain the internal spatial structure of cities in the United States.
6. Students will provide examples of how the internal structure of cities varies around the world.
C. Spatial Organization
Standard: The student will use regions and the interaction among them to analyze the present patterns of economic activity in the United States and around the world at various scales.
1. Students will describe and provide examples of the primary factors behind the regional pattern of economic activity in the United States.
2. Students will describe and provide examples of the primary factors behind the regional pattern of economic activity in the primary industrial regions of the world.
3. Students will describe how the technological and managerial changes associated with the third agricultural revolution have impacted the regional patterns of crop and livestock production.
4. Students will understand how the transportation and communication systems have impacted the development of regions.
5. Students will describe patterns of consumption and production of the agricultural commodities that are traded among nations.
6. Students will describe patterns of consumption and production of fossil fuels that are traded among nations.
7. Students will describe how geographic models can help to explain the location of commercial activities and land use patterns in the United States and the world.
8. Students will explain the variations in economic activity and land use within the state of Minnesota analyze issues related to land use and reach conclusions about the potential for change in various regions.
9. Students will describe changes in common statistical measures of population or economy that occur as countries develop economically.
10. Students will cite a variety of examples of how economic or political changes in other parts of the world can affect their lifestyle.
Standard: The student will describe how humans influence the environment and in turn are influenced by it.
1. Students will provide a range of examples illustrating how types of government systems and technology impact the ability to change the environment or adapt to it.
2. Students will analyze the advantages and drawbacks of several common proposals to change the human use of environmental resources.
3. Students will understand and analyze examples of the impacts of natural hazards on human activities and land use.
We are currently using the textbook: “ World Cultures. A Global Mosaic.” Prentice Hall. 1996. This course is heavily supplemented with information from a wide variety of sources.
Week 1-4 Chapter 1 Cutlure and Culture Concepts
Geography and Geography Concepts
Week 4-8 Chapters 7, 8, 9 South Asia, India, Hinduism, Buddhism
Introduction to Islam, Caste, Colonization,
Independence, Gandhi, Modernization
Week 9-12 Chapter 15, 16
East Asia, China, Confucianism, Chinese
Folk Religion, Ancestors, Taoism,
Week 13-17 Chapter 25, 26
Middle East, Zoroastrianism, Islam,
Judaism, Christianity, Arabs, Modernity
Some useful internet sites:
American Anthropological Association. http://www.aaanet.org/ (then click on "anthro links")
Antrhopology in the News. http://www.tamu.edu/anthropology/news.html
Harvard Anthroplogy. http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/anthro/
Palomar College http://www.palomar.edu/anthropology/
Standford University. http://www.stanford.edu/dept/anthroCASA/index.html
Ethnic Groups (World Factbook) http://www.bartleby.com/151/a35.html
United States Department of State http://www.state.gov/
Central Intelligence Agency http://www.cia.gov/