“We are not makers of History. We are made by History.” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Each one of us lives in the past and the present simultaneously and may be in the future too! Does History comprise the past that we have all lived? Does History repeat itself? What moves society ‘forward’ to the future? The Past? Or the Present? What role are you going to play in that process? Is there an answer to the question raised in a song by Bob Dylan: “How many roads must a man walk down/ Before you can call him a man?”
IB History is a study where one raises questions, arguments and varied viewpoints. It uses interpretation, critical analysis and evaluation to create an empathetic understanding of the people and events in History. The course prepares you well to look at social issues critically and take an informed stand on them. Thus, it is not just the past which gets enlivened, but also the present, and the future scenario is the canvas on which the criticisms of what went wrong is constantly tested.
The IB History curriculum is an exciting one since it is extremely broad-based, allowing the facilitator to custom design it to suit any particular batch of learners. Each of the three papers is formulated to develop different skills in the learner.
Paper 1, which is source-based, is designed to develop key historical skills, including a sense of chronology and context, and an understanding of different historical perspectives through engaging effectively with sources. Paper 2 is theme-based, bringing to the students’ multiple perspectives and appreciation of the complex nature of historical concepts, issues, events and developments through the study of world history topics. Paper 3, which is the higher level paper, develops in the students, historical consciousness and an understanding of history as a discipline. It promotes international-mindedness in them through the in depth study of history of a particular region of the world. Finally, it increases their understanding of themselves and of contemporary society through reflection on the past.
The new syllabus, to be examined for the first time in 2017, includes a range of topics related to the history of countries throughout the world, from the early medieval period to the twenty-first century. The students may choose to learn about military leaders like Ghenghiz Khan or Richard I, or the conquest of Southeast Asia by Japan, and Europe by Germany and Italy during the Second World War. They could learn about internal conflicts with international dimensions in places such as Rwanda and Kosovo, or protest movements in South Africa or the United States. World history topics range from society and economy in the 8th century to the impact of industrialisation in the early years of the 21st century; and from the significance of medieval wars to the impact of 20th century ones. Regional history allows the intensive study of the history of one particular region, such as the Americas, or the Middle East and Africa or Australasia or Europe.
As can be deduced from this, the IB History curriculum is eminently appropriate for preparing the student to take up almost any course of study or profession. A student of IB History is eminently suited to take up the study of law, mass communications or journalism, international relations, political science, museology, archaeology or anthropology, with the aim of taking up the profession of a lawyer, a journalist, a political analyst, a marketing analyst, an advertising executive, a curator or museologist, an archaeologist, an anthropologist, a historian, a politician, or an administrator, especially as a member of the foreign service or diplomatic services.
What is special about History at TSRS? At our school, we allow the students to design their own curriculum, firmly believing that they will appreciate and understand it all the better for having produced it. IB History at TSRS is for the kind of person who has a very strong opinion about every social, political or economic issue which affected human society in the past, is affecting it today or will do so in the future. It is the place where we learn, unlearn and learn again about ‘What’s life?’ and ‘That’s life!!’