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History and Social Studies Education
Resources from Rhode Island College History and Social Studies educators for the classroom http://geographyeducation.org
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The Conflict in Syria

The Conflict in Syria | History and Social Studies Education | Scoop.it

Brown University's Choices Program has many excellent resources for social studies teachers including "Teaching with the News."  Many teachers are seeing the importance of Syria, but might lack the regional expertise to put it in context or to the time to link it with the curriculum.  If that is the case (and even if it is not), this is the perfect place to find lesson plans on the ongoing Syrian conflict. 


Tags: political, MiddleEast, conflict, war.

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What is the Arab Spring?

The Choices Program asks Brown University's Political Scientist Melani Cammett to briefly explain the Arab Spring.  This is a great primer to teach young students who don't follow international news to understand the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  For more videos by the Choices Program in their "Scholars Online" series, see:

http://www.choices.edu/resources/scholarsonline.php

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 26, 2014 3:40 PM

The Arab Spring can be described as an uprising of Arab protesters that are no longer afraid to stand up against their rulers to improve their own political and economic conditions. Arabs march in the streets and hold signs to get their points across in hopes that things will eventually look up.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:51 PM

The Arab Spring is an event the media has spend great deals of time talking about, both pros and cons. Yet unfortunately they've neglected to give a decent description of what it actually is. This video provided and over view of the beginnings of the Arab Spring and what it has blossomed into today.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 25, 3:17 PM

(Africa)Melani Cammett, the Political Scientist and Brown University was asked to describe the Arab Spring by The Choices Program. She does a good job explaining this. The Arab Spring is a term used to describe the various uprisings coming out of the Middle East and Africa which started in December 2010, and then picked up a lot of speed in 2011. The Arab spring started in Tunisia when a fruit and vegetable farmer lit himself on fire to protest his treatment by the police. Acts like this spread through Tunisia and through Egypt into the Middle East. So the Arab Spring refers to the wave of protest that ranges from morocco to Syria and Oman. People have lost their fear of protest against the government, which is surprising because in these areas it is previously unheard of. It seems like the people are taking notes from peaceful American protests, instead of resorting to violence. 

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Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia

Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia | History and Social Studies Education | Scoop.it

This is one of the more impressive cultural landmarks in the world, and an architectural marvel.  Studying the cultural landscape reveals that multiple 'layers' are superimposed one upon another.  This phenomenon, known as sequent occupance, is most plainly manifested in this site.  The Haga Sophia has been both a Christian and Muslim holy site, depending which political empire has controlled the city of Istanbul.       

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 29, 2013 4:26 PM

Turkey is a very unique country.  The land is spread among Europe, as well as Asia and the Middle East.  Its people are among many religions such as Christian and Muslim, and they speak various languages which show how diverse the region is.  Turkey acts almost like a bridge between the two continents and within its borders lie attributes that are hard to find anywhere else on earth.  What is strange about this specific site being the Haga Sophia is that it has been both a Christian and Muslim landmark.  In many other areas of the world, each religion holds authority to their respective traditions and structures.  Though the holy site in Istanbul shows how truely diverse the nation is and has been for its people and especially religions.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 26, 2014 9:49 PM

This is an amazing view of this remarkable land mark. The link provided above did not work however I was able to see the 3-d tour @ http://www.360tr.com/34_istanbul/ayasofya/english/. It was amazing to be able to zoom in and view all angles of this sacred space.The detail and intricacy was breathtaking.I also enjoyed that you were  able to view the surrounding location to establish context .

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:57 PM

Visiting the Haga Sophia is on my bucket list for sure! I find it fascinating how one beautiful site can radiate so many different historical periods as well as cultural differences. The Haga Sophia has traces of the religions and people that held control over it at one time or another. 

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2600 years of history in one object

TED Talks A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism.

 

At first glance this TED Talk appears to be more about ancient history, archaeology and biblical studies that anything modern.  Yet as Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum continues his discussion of the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script), it becomes clear that this historical artifact is an important more of how modern states conceive of their heritage, cultural legacy and role within the Middle East today (such as Israel, Iraq, Iran and the U.K.).  As such the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism and plays a role in shaping Middle Eastern cultural and political institutions. 

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Don Brown Jr's comment, October 1, 2012 9:18 PM
Objects, ideas and land can have multi overlapping meanings that are constantly being reinterpreted by each succeeding generation creating new symbolic understandings that overlap into many societies and cultures.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 8, 2013 9:16 AM

Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum, explains Middle Eastern history using the Cyrus Cylinder.  His first point in this TED talk is especially interesting because he explains that people age and perish and objects do the same, but objects such as this cylinder survive and are able to tell important stories of history for a much longer time than people normally can.

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NCSS: War and Terrorism

NCSS: War and Terrorism | History and Social Studies Education | Scoop.it

The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:24 PM

This must be a great teaching plan so students can be thought about what is going on in the world. It also shows them what is going on in Iraq and in the Middle East and it could probably trigger one of them to fight back and change the Middle East from all the discrimination towards women and probably destroy all these bad groups that just have a motive to destroy and kill.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 10:34 AM

Before 9/11 a lot of Americans didnt know much about the war on terrorism, It wasnt till after the attacks when they were directly affected did they bother to learn more about it to know why it happened and if something like it would happen again. 

Max Minard's curator insight, May 26, 8:32 PM

This article brings up the topic of educating students on the major topics of current political affairs and serious terrorist incursions in the Middle East and other parts of the world. As it says, it contains 30 lesson plans that all focus on providing resources and factual information on current events that involve US war in Iraq and terrorism. I personally think that this course will successfully provide students with a better knowledge on what's actually happening around them. This can further lead them to knowing how to handle these situations in the future, where they must lead the United States. It will better prepare them for future roles in government.  

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The role of social networking in the Arab Spring

The role of social networking in the Arab Spring | History and Social Studies Education | Scoop.it
A case study for our World Development text book...

 

How useful was digital technology, particularly social networking sites, to democracy protesters in Tunisia and Egypt?  How important are the democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa to world development?  Social media has fundamentally changed the cultural and political paradigms. 

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, September 3, 2014 5:00 AM

The role of social networking in the Arab Spring

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:40 PM

While we sit here on Facebook and Twitter for a way to connect with friends, share photos of our vacations or follow our favorite celebrities every move places in North Africa and some of the Middle East are using social media to change their country.  In countries like Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt people have used these social media sites to disperse information to the general public.  Where a rally will be held, a map of where police forces will be located, and what to do in the event teargas is used are all topics for discussion on social media.  With the use of these websites a larger group of people are able to take part in the overthrow of the government.  With leaders restricting the access to the web even more people were intrigued to join the protests.  When people can't follow along on the internet the events they decided to go take part in the events themselves.  With the use of these social media websites the Arab Spring in these areas was able to be as successful as it was.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 5:27 PM

I think it is important that technology plays a role in these revolutions. Before, if a revolution happened, the dictator could just silence its population. Now the population has things like Facebook and Twitter to mobilize their plans of attack for meeting places and advice about how to confront the government. As such, the power of the citizens has grown and according to the article some argue it was this power that made the government officials in Egypt and Tunisia stand down. I tend to agree since the coverage of the event helped increase the size of the demonstrations.  

 

I love that these protests for democracy are being led by the citizens. Since the citizens actually want this type of government, there is actually a chance that this might  be what the country needs. As you mentioned during the Solar Diem video, what works for one society may not translate to another. The author of this piece is more than likely from a western democracy given how the author thinks "democratic change offers the only solution"  to issues like poverty and internal strife within "Arab" countries. Yet, that isn't the case in the Middle East. By forcing a democratic revolution on Iraq,  the region is more destabilized than it was under the harsh command of Saddam Hussein. As you mentioned in class, Iraq needed a dictator like Hussein to keep peace though. So as helpful as technology might be  for democratic revolutions, democratic revolution might not be the answer to every countries problems.