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  • Here is my fourth lesson plan.Immigration-Lesson%20Plan.docx
  • Here are the lessons that Michelle Bowzer, Kendra Clark, Rachel McNeil and Richard Speakman worked on. 




  • I found Bender's book to be encouraging of finding an underlying themes that connect events in history that used to be taught as unrelated events.  Events such as the black plague as it traveled down the silk road helped shape policies for China and Europe since their workforce was around 1/3 dead.  The weakened China decided to stop their naval efforts (there were other factors as well) and Europe was becoming increasingly desperate to re-establish themselves as economic powerhouses.  I also enjoyed Benders themes of Economics and Racial Hierarchy as underlying themes through out his book.  As stated by another classmate, these are not the only things that shaped history, and many things were left out such as philosophy and technology for examples, but economics and superiority played two very important and huge rules in shaping historical events.  I think his overall thesis should have been American History is similar to Global history through economic desires and racial superiority.
  • I agree that I do not think that Bender's idea is a particularly new one but it is important and a good reminder.  I know that my history education was very America-centric and rarely if ever mentioned other countries unless the US was at war with them.  I enjoyed reading the book as it did bring up some interesting transnational connections that I had never thought of.

    I especially enjoyed chapter 4 with its talk about the American Empire mindset.  It shed a whole new light on our interactions with other countries for me when Bender started to relate many of the US's interactions with other countries that they were trying to "help"  become more "civilized."  The invasion of Korea was completely new to me and it was an excellent example of how the America mindset caused them to completely ignore the rights and wants of others (though there are many other examples of this).

    I look forward to encouraging my students, when they are researching their National History Day projects, to look at what else was going on in the world besides what America happened to be doing.  The 6th grade curriculum lends itself very well to this new way of looking at things.  It is primarily about 20th century conflicts and immigrants which usually require a transnational look at the world.  I think making a conscious decision to focus on studying American history with a transnational perspective will be essential for our students as we become an increasingly global community.

  • I chose to read chapter 5 of the Bender book that deals with Liberalism and Industrialization. In this chapter he talks about the various responses to the negative consequences of industrialization (and urbanization). I think his theme is that all nations that were experiencing industrialization responded to its effect in different ways and at different times.  He also notes that there was great deal if diffusion or sharing that took place. However the sharing was not balanced; the US send a lot of expert, scholars, and theorists to look at what Europe was doing in response to industrialization, but they reciprocated to a lessor degree.  There was a desire by liberals in the US to avoid the "socialism" tag and so they tried to moderate their views and come across as wanting to offer reforms with the capitalistic framework. Bender also described the dichotomy between the individualistic mindset and the need for collective response.  The Catholic church was mentioned in a positive and negative sense. First, in a social policy sense they advocated for a labor bill in Chile, but also they tied industrialization and its ill effects to things like Darwinism and the break down of the family.  I sense that Bender's theme in to give us examples of the variety of responses to Industrialization and to point out the extensive sharing and reciprocity that took place. It certainly goes well beyond the traditional idea of American progressivism that we studies in school, and helps us understand that it did not happen in a vacuum.


    Mark  J Biberg

    Delta Cyber School


  • Jimmy, thanks for your post.


    I have to agree with you when you say that "America was not alone in its quest to conquer and provide." During this time, America was a fairly new independent country in the grand scheme of things and even though we have taken pride in being an independent country, there was no way that America would have succeeded during the industrial revolution without looking at the other influential countries that were already successful. Staying true to the independence I think the leaders picked and chose what was successful in each country and used what it could to build a successful empire.

  • Chapter 5 deals with the complexities of the industrial revolution and its affect on practically every facet of life.  Never before had there been the creation of the type of population density that ensued.  The ramifications of which reached all areas of society: housing, labor issues, safety, international relations etc.  Bender's approach suggests that America was not alone in its quest to conquer and provide for the necessary infrastructure.  Although I would like to know the amount of input that we, as a developing nation, actually used from other countries, there was plenty of evidence suggesting collaboration.  From the pope to the network of Hull Houses to the Musee Social in Paris, Bender suggests that the plethora of international intellectual influence was not lost on the American progression of policy development.  In the end, his willingness to minimize the "power" of American ideology is interesting.
  • I chose to read chapter four because it deals partially with something close to home. The treatment of the Cherokees. The chapter is titled "An Empire Among Empires". I really believe that Bender's view of transnationalism is correct. History does encompass much more than the country or nation you live in. I also agree that our view as an empire among and above all other empires has partially led to our greatness but, it has also led to the hatred we experience from empires outside our own. Not only did we think our views were superior we believed that others would see our views the same way. We did not consider that other people might view things differently and might view us differently. The other thing we failed to see is that other people might even think of themselves the same way we thought of ourselves. Hence the statement: "A sequence of misunderstandings, largely based on racist and cultural presuppositions of superior moral virtue on both sides, produced needless violence." This, I believe is the key that has led to every conflict throughout history. The failure of one side to see or understand where the other is coming from and the belief that one side is superior to the other, be it morally, racially, economically or politically.
  • I think that connecting students stories to a transnational perspective will help make students feel part of a more global picture of the world.  In sixth grade we teach immigration.  One of our assignments is a family history interview.  They gather as much information as they can (some students only end up with one side of their tree) and then I create a map to show where everyone is from.  This visual of how truly diverse we are really makes an impact on how they see Americans.  This visual really allows students to see that they are a nation of immigrants. 

    We look at the reasons why people left their homelands to come to America and look at what was going on to cause this massive immigration. This helps give students a more complete view of what was going on in the world and how it impacted the development of America.  I think students really benefit from this awareness.

    I think that Bender's ideas are very important.  They help students gain a more complete understanding of America and the world.  The idea lends itself to the 6th grade curriculum fairly easily.  We study 20th century America and much of that has influences and/or are impacted by what is going on in the world.   

  • I would agree with my cadre who suggests that Bender's ideas are not new, but he is a voice to remember that the international arena on the discussion of ideas both prior to the formation of Nation-States and after is something to keep in mind and build in our students.  A problem with teaching history is that there are so many wonderful layers, which layer do we have our students focus on to grasp some of the key ideas in the transitional story is the choice we have to make.  Bender initiates his book with the idea of needing "a history that understands national history as itself being made in and by histories that are both larger and smaller than the nation's. (p3) To exemplify (p212) "By paying too much attention to President Washington's warning against entangling alliances with the warring European powers, we may have overlooked his encouragement of global trade."  The story is always larger, there is so much more to get in......oops, the bell just rang, class over, your homework is....will homework be done? Oh, no, the semester is about over and we still need to look at...

          History, like Ogres, is like an Onion. Layer after layer after layer makes the substance of the whole.

          Part of my joy of teaching is encouraging students to be self explorers to move into the discovery of the layers and not stop at textbook outer crusty orange skin. Then there is so many ways to look at and observe this onion to discover it. There is time for individual personal investigation once general foundations have been established. Bender and Julia Childs have a lot in common in the voice of looking further to discover.

         At what point does the little story become the larger story? Is Seward's ideology (p218)  of continentalism part of the little story? How about the actions of Father Herman with the Alaska Natives? How about the individual's person going across the Oregon trail impact on American Native policies?

       Time for class.

    Last comment for now....I am encouraged by Bender to keep looking for the voice and stories of connection. My family line is in America because of the Transnational dialog (1750 Palatine region to Lancaster County) They are the little story, part of the big one. All worthy to look at over a lifetime.


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