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Europe and Globalization

Produced by Kathleen Sigafoos, San Clemente High School, 2000

1. Description of the "unit"

  • Students will develop the fundamentals of historical research and writing through a guided research project.
  • Students will use the topic of the future of the European Union as a focus to acquire research skills and develop writing skills that conform to the conventions of standard formal English and the discipline historical research and writing.
  • Students will be asked to focus their topic on a problem relating to expansion of the European Union. The instructor will model research on one aspect of the future EU; what are some possible consequences for current members if the EU expands and offers agricultural supports to the current candidate nations: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Rumania, Slovakia, Turkey and Malta.
  • Students will use instructor's model to guide their research. They will experience questions that they must ask of their own sources as they explore their own research question.

2. Objectives

Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills (CA Academic Standards Commission)

Students will demonstrate historical research, evidence and point of view:

  • Students distinguish valid arguments from fallacious arguments in historical interpretations.
  • Students identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations.
  • Students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate and employ from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations.

Students will demonstrate chronological and spatial thinking:

  • Students compare the present with the past, evaluating the consequences of past events and decisions and determining the lessons learned.

3. Procedure

Day 1 -Trace the formation of the European Union and establish vocabulary and criteria for the presentation. The instructor introduces possible economic, social, and political problems that might result from expansion, and outlines a time line of key events in the formation of the Ell, from the Treaty of Rome to today. Students will choose a research topic of their own that relates to the proposed Ell expansion to include the current candidate nations. Distribute the guide for research, project timeline, and scoring rubric to students. (Use materials: maps, charts and graphs presented by Enrica Croida, available through the official web site for the European Union. www.eurunion.org for the teacher presentation.) (One non-block day, 56 minutes)

Day 2 -Students research in the library with the librarian and the teacher. Students begin with a lesson on Internet and library use for research purposes. The librarian has developed a one-hour lesson on how to use the resources of the library. Students have the remainder of the block day to begin research. My students are in an Advanced Placement European history class and spend a significant portion of the course reading and interpreting primary source documents in European history. Students will ask the same questions of the information and the sources that will be used in their research paper. (Handouts developed for reference work enclosed.) (One block day, 110 minutes)

Day 3 -Adapt the lesson on EU expansion presented by Mira Cohen at the seminar. Students will only examine the possible impact of future agricultural supports for candidate nations on current EU members. Students will be divided into groups of four representing the current members. Student groups will evaluate relevant data. If Internet is available in my classroom, students will rotate through computer time. It is my experience that the instructor must gather some evidence for students, if a simulation is to be completed in one block period. Based on the impact of agricultural price supports to candidate nations on their assigned country, student groups will formulate a position paper (45 minutes). Student groups present their position papers to fellow students (40 minutes). Teacher closes with a discussion of the material presented (15 minutes). (A block day is 110 minutes)

Day 4 -Students view film "Prisoner of the Mountains" while the teacher reviews each student's research question and possible thesis. It is important that both the teacher and the student evaluate the research question for appropriate scope. Students will write the paper on their own, but meet deadlines as set forth by the instructor. (Handout enclosed) (A non-block day 56 minutes)

4. Handouts

  • Research guidelines
  • Project timeline
  • Essay scoring rubric

5. Debrief

Research paper problems that are general to the entire class will be discussed with the entire class. Problems that are unique to the student's own research will be discussed with each student as their paper is returned.

6. Evaluation

Student papers will be evaluated according to an adaptation of the standard Advanced Placement essay rubric used throughout the year. (Handout enclosed)

Center for European and Eurasian Studies