Course Description

Course Description

Students will develop an understanding of global interdependence by exploring challenging issues facing the world community.  Major issues lie in the demographic, environmental, economic, and geopolitical realms.  The course is designed to build skills in research, critical thinking, peer collaboration, and communication about global issues.

Major Topics

  • Demographic explosion
  • Environmental issues
  • The new world economy
  • The geopolitical world
  • Personal stands on global issues

Major Projects

Students will engage in a major global issues inquiry project over the course of the semester.  Students will present research on a regular basis over the course of the semester and participate in a global issues forum at the end of the semester during which they present and defend a research-based personal position on their chosen global issue.  Participation in this forum acts as a final for the course, thus students are required to attend class and participate in the forum in order to meet the standards related to the forum.


Students should be adept with the following technology skills upon enrolling in Global Issues:  using word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database programs and searching the internet.  Additional skills to be learned during the course include GIS (geographic information systems).  Finally, students will use social networking (a class blog) during the semester.


Students at Sitka High School receive both feedback on the course standards (see the previous page of this course outline) and a final grade.  Feedback on the course standards is based on the individual student’s performance on standards-based assessments.  Over the course of the semester, the student’s performance on standards-based assessments will be averaged to create a performance score at the end of the semester.  This is true for both content and life skills standards.  The scores on the course standards allow the student, teacher, and parents to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the student’s learning.  The course grade, however, is calculated based on totaling the points a student has accumulated by completing assignments over the course of the semester.  Total points are calculated by attributing 85% of the grade to content scores and 15% to life skills scores.

Thus, it is important for students to both concentrate on the quality of their work, which reveals strengths and weaknesses in the ability to meet the standards, and to complete all assignments, as the course grade determines whether or not the student receives credit for the course.  As a required course for seniors and for graduation, keeping track of success in the course is critical.  Students and parents may track standards-based scores and current course grade calculations via the web.  The report card at the end of the semester will reflect both standard scores and the final grade.

Main Resources

The main text resources used in the course are:

High Noon:  20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them by J. F. Rischard

We also make extensive use of library, supplemental,  and web-based resources and materials provided in class by the instructor.

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