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Individuals and Societies

Students take three years of a non-tracked humanities course. Humanities is taught in a language other than English for those students taking language at an advanced level. 

The curriculum emphasizes the interaction between human beings and their environments (geography) as well human beings and their fellow human beings (governments, systems and politics). A connection between past and present is made through civics, public speaking, and current events. Students develop

  • knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the history of mankind; reflect on the development of human beings , their societies and their cultures in relation to one another; and seek to understand the relations between cultures and societies.
  • thinking skills such as drawing conclusions, inferring, making connections, understanding cause and consequence through the use of primary and secondary source documents, maps and graphs,current event articles.
  • research and communication skills, oral as well as written, through reading, writing, presentations, restating facts, understanding arguments, formulating and supporting opinion.

The humanities program is developed around the three principles

Communication: Students develop oral as well as written communication skills through reading, writing, and speaking. Students practice making oral presentations; summarizing, gathering, organizing and presenting information in a variety of modes; understanding arguments from multiple perspectives; and formulating and supporting opinions.

Global awareness: Intercultural understanding is at the heart of the Humanities courses at Gilkey. Through their study of Humanities, students develop knowledge and appreciation of the history of mankind; reflect on the development of men and their cultures in relation to one another; and seek to understand the relations between cultures. Students are encouraged to make connections between local and global issues and events.

Holistic education: Humanities courses are student-centered and seek to develop the learner as a whole person. Throughout the program, students develop thinking skills such as drawing conclusions, inferring, making connections between ideas, understanding cause and consequence through the use of primary and secondary sources, and interpreting maps and graphs. Students are encouraged to make thematic connections between Humanities and other school subjects.

Humanities students at Gilkey International Middle School:

  • Take risks when giving and supporting opinions
  • Show an open mind, curious and respectful attitude when participating in class discussions and working in groups
  • Be knowledgeable thinkers when discussing , communicating and supporting opinions.
  • Display an inquiring mind when seeking and learning about different cultures and perspectives on the world.

Aims and objectives

In order for students to

  • Develop skills necessary for the effective study of humanities: research, communication, critical thinking
  • Develop a respect and understanding of others’ perspectives, values and attitudes
  • Develop an awareness of human cultures , interactions and events in a variety of places at different times
  • Develop an understanding of interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and their environments
  • Develop an understanding of the causes and consequences of change through physical changes as well as through human actions and processes
  • Develop a sense of internationalism and a desire to be an informed, proactive and responsible global citizen.

They will learn how to

  • Develop and acquire knowledge and understanding of specific terminology and concepts related to the study of history, geography, political systems, foundation of economic systems.
  • understand and appreciate the history of mankind; reflect on the development of human beings , their societies and their cultures in relation to one another; seek to understand the relations between cultures and societies in a variety of settings from regional to global interaction
  • Improve research and communication skills, oral as well as written, through reading, writing, presentations, restating facts, understanding arguments, formulating and supporting opinions
  • Investigate: ask questions, design a plan, identify , evaluate and cite sources and resources, explore methods , communicate process and results in a variety of fashions.
  • Communicate their understanding, questions, evaluations through a diversity of methods : in writing, in presentations, interactions and debates, speeches.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking; develop thinking skills such as drawing conclusions, inferring, making connections, understanding cause and consequence through the use of primary and secondary source documents, maps and graphs, current event articles, interpret different perspectives and their implications, synthesize information to make valid arguments

Methodology: Class discussions ; expressing opinions and respecting others’ opinions; understanding and analysis of primary and secondary sources; reading historical documents with a purpose; reading and understanding maps, charts and graphs; conducting research and evaluating sources; creating presentations; writing essays, responding to study questions; summarizing

Assessment: At the Gilkey International Middle School teachers commit to a variety of summative assessments tasks clearly tied to learning objectives, skills and criteria. Before an assessment or along with it, teachers will hand out clearly described tasks and criteria for assessment. All units of work include formative assessments leading to the summative piece.