After thoroughly examining the Middle School history curriculum, the history and social sciences department decided to implement a revision to the curriculum’s scope and sequence starting in the 2014-2015 school year.
The department reviewed the School’s Strategic Planning Goals and the curricular sequences of peer schools and decided to change the current 9th grade Ancient Civilizations class into a new course, Global Connections III, in order to create a smoother transition between grades 8, 9, and 10.
Global Connections III, which will have an honors and a regular track, will provide students with context for 10th and 11th grade history and social science classes. The new course will also incorporate global issues that the Ancient Civilizations class does not include.
The School’s history instructors and administrators feel that it is valuable for students to have a strong foundation in global issues.
“[Global Connections III] will definitely give more background history on the development of the U.S. government and its policies. The U.S. government didn’t come from a vacuum. It came from other influences, so this class will help provide that to give students a better understanding,” history and social sciences instructor Helen Mendoza said.
Of course, the department remained aware of the value of the current Ancient Civilizations course, and several important elements from the course were incorporated into the 7th and 8th grade courses. The 7th grade history curriculum, for example, covers Ancient Greece and Rome.
The 8th grade history course explores world philosophies and religion, and now the 9th grade will finish with the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and important themes and events in 19th and 20th century.
Sophia ‘17, a student in John “Doc” Langdon’s Ancient Civilizations Honors course, which he has taught at Marlborough for the past 35 years, has enjoyed the rigor and content of the course.
“I love Doc’s class. I think it is probably the best class that they have here because he is a really good teacher…He goes really in depth, and it kind of feels like a college course. He connects [the course content] to current events, which is really helpful,” Sophia ’17 said.
Even seniors like Gina ‘14, who has taken comprehensive courses such as AP Biology and Honors English Seminar, feel strongly about having the Ancient Civilizations course.
“Ancient Civilization Honors was by far my favorite class in 9th grade. Even though it was a lot of work, it totally prepared me for the Upper School. [Doc] really teaches you how to write in stressful situations, like on a test you have to write something comprehensive but short in a small amount of time. How [Global Studies III] affects the transition, I don’t really know, but I feel like Ancient Civilization Honors really prepared me for history and humanities at Marlborough and for the Upper School in general,” Gina ’14 said.