​​​​​​​Innovation: Then and Now

In Modern World History: 1800 to present, Whitfield sophomores thematically explore the modernization of the world . Students use primary and secondary sources such as articles, books, historical documents, news videos, documentaries, and material culture to explore cultural, political, economic, and social themes as they examine and expand their understanding of the modern world.

The first themes of the year are innovation and technology. Students are learning about the political, social, economic, and technological issues and results of the Industrial Revolution (parts 1 and 2) as they study how and why societies changed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and still into the twenty-first. As part of their analysis, students are currently working on the Industrialization and Globalization Research Project and Presentation.

To begin, students selected a specific industry  to explore within the categories of automobile, agriculture, energy, retail, and technology. Using credible databases and websites, students engaged in the research process to determine the positive and negative effects of their chosen industry and its global influence. Students will create an interactive website that illustrates the timeline of their industry and make an evidence-based presentation to their class later this month.

Topics range from the beauty industry to pharmaceuticals, medical insurance, vaccines, diamond industry, fashion, public transportation, and the presence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military.

In addition to utilizing essential skills (research and presentation), students strengthen their writing skills as they draft their presentation script. Whitfield’s Instructional Technologist Ashley Hastey will teach several lessons during the project to help students create an engaging presentation that is written for the eye and ear.

“This project gives students an opportunity to explore a topic that interests them and to consider both its historical relevance and modern context,” said faculty member Grace Barlow.  “It is also a good entry point for them to begin to recognize that the technology that they interact with today didn’t just ‘happen’ but is by design.”