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Global Studies Course of Study

Course Syllabus: Contemporary World Issues

Theme: The dynamics of global interactions among nations and regions present issues that affect all humanity. These dynamics include: competing beliefs and goals; methods of engagement; and conflict and cooperation. Contemporary issues have political, economic, social, historic and geographic components. Approaches to addressing global and regional issues reflect historical influences and multiple perspectives. Students can impact global issues through service learning and senior projects.

TOPIC: GLOBAL CONNECTIONS - The 21st century is characterized by changing circumstances as new economies emerge and new technologies change the way people interact. Issues related to health, economics, security and the environment are universal.


1. Trade, alliances, treaties and international organizations contribute to the increasing interconnectedness of nations and peoples in the 21st century.

2. Advances in communications technology have profound effects on the ability of governments, interest groups, individuals and the media to share information across national and cultural borders.

TOPIC: CIVIC PARTICIPATION AND SKILLS - Individuals and groups have the capacity to engage with others to impact global issues.


3. Individuals can evaluate media messages that are constructed using particular tools, characteristics and conventions for unique purposes. Different communication methods affect how people define and act on issues.

4. Individuals can assess how effective communicators address diverse audiences.

5. Individuals can identify, assess and evaluate world events, engage in deliberative civil debate and influence public processes to address global issues.

6. Effective civic participation involves identifying problems or dilemmas, proposing appropriate solutions, formulating action plans, and assessing the positive and negative results of actions taken.

7. Individuals can participate through non-governmental organizations to help address humanitarian needs.

TOPIC: CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS - There are challenges to civil rights and human rights throughout the world. Politics, economics and culture can all influence perceptions of civil and human rights.


8. Beliefs about civil and human rights vary among social and governmental systems.

9. Nations and international organizations pursue their own interests on issues related to civil and human rights, resulting in both conflict and cooperation particularly as it relates to injustices against minority groups.

10. Modern instances of genocide and ethnic cleansing present individual, organizational and national issues related to the responsibilities of participants and non-participants.


TOPIC: SUSTAINABILITY - An increasingly global society is faced with the interdependency of ecological, social and economic systems. The functioning of these systems determines the sustainability of natural and human communities at local, regional, national and global levels.


11. Decisions about human activities made by individuals and societies have implications for both current and future generations, including intended and unintended consequences.

12. Sustainability issues are interpreted and treated differently by people viewing them from various political, economic and cultural perspectives.

13. International associations and nongovernmental organizations offer means of collaboration to address sustainability issues on local, national and international levels.


TOPIC: TECHNOLOGY - Technological advances present issues related to costs, distribution of benefits, ethical considerations, and intended and unintended consequences.


14. The development and use of technology influences economic, political, ethical and social issues.

15. Technologies inevitably involve trade-offs between costs and benefits. Decisions about the use of products and systems can result in intended and unintended consequences.

TOPIC: NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY  - The political, economic and social goals of nations, international associations and nongovernmental organizations may be incompatible with each other and lead to conflicts.


16. Nations seek to ensure the security of their geographic territories, political institutions, economic systems and ways of life. Maintaining security has political, social and economic costs.

17. Economic, political and social differences between global entities can lead to conflict unless mitigated through diplomacy or cooperative efforts.

18. Individuals and organizations work within, or outside of, established systems of power, authority and governance to influence their own security and the security of others.

TOPIC: THE GLOBAL ECONOMY - The global economy is an international marketplace fueled by competition, trade and integration.


19. The global economy creates advantages and disadvantages for different segments of the world’s population.

20. Trade agreements, multinational organizations, embargoes and protectionism impact markets.

21. The distribution of wealth and economic power among countries changes over time.

22. The global economy creates interdependence so that economic circumstances in one country impact events in other countries.


(Information from: https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Ohio-s-New-Learning-Standards/Social-Studies/SS-Standards.pdf.aspx)


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