Winter Break Homework

Transitioning between the Modern and Contemporary eras requires us to inquire into the transformation in the way humans understand our own history, as well as the relationship between history and science.  Certainly, the 20th century saw wildly rapid and complex technological advancements – how did those advancements change the way we understand the past?  This historiographical question introduces the first Key Concept of the Contemporary Era – Science and the Environment – as it inquires into the rapid advances in science and technology that altered the understanding of the universe and the natural world and led to advances in communication, transportation, industry, agriculture, and medicine.

To introduce this Key Concept over Winter Break, students are to read David Christian‘s 2009 publication of “History and Science After the Chronometric Revolution” (pages 441-456 of embedded source), and respond to the following in preparation for a Socratic Seminar upon our return to school:

  • Define the terms ‘chronometric revolution,’ ‘taxonomies,’ and ‘historiography.’
  • Describe the relationship between “our taxonomies of knowledge” and the first chronometric revolution.  Describe the relationship between “our taxonomies of knowledge” and the second chronometric revolution.  Contrast the two ‘chronometric revolutions’ discussed.
  • (Annotate, along the way, for specific proper nouns #vocab that inform your understanding to the above questions, as well as the prompt below.)

Watch this here Crash Course video on “How the Industrial Age Changed Our Perspective” to clarify some of the ideas presented in David Christian’s essay, as it emphasizes important characteristics of the later Modern Era as a way to understand the development of the second chronometric revolution.

Watch this here PBS Eons video “The Missing Link That Wasn’t” to illustrate some of the ideas presented in David Christian’s essay, regarding how our understanding of the process of evolution has improved over time.

Watch this here video from The Economist from summer of 2020 on how Covid-19 has the potential to reshape the idea of what it means to “go to work”.

Browse these Alternative Periodic Tables to reemphasize how there are a LOT of ways to conceptualize our complex world.  You’ll notice that the general theme of all of this work centers on classification and organization.  Keep that in mind moving forward.

Notice how this work, to an extent, returns to where we began class in Week 1.  Open this here Week 1 link in a new tab.  Take out/start a fresh page of paper.  Scroll through that post from the beginning of the semester, and respond to the following:

  • Evaluate the extent to which the content addressed in Week 1 is addressed in the content of the Winter Break work.  Summarily, explain how all of this information applies far beyond this class.

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Thank you for volunteering to take an AP class!  Enjoy it.  Please single-space your work or neatly write it by hand.  Plan a study/work date with friends.  Learning is a social activity, and more fun with others.  Mr. C suggests students individually work through the reading and the bullet-point/SAQ-style prompts seen above the “Railroads” Crash Course video and then get together in a group to tackle the DBQ-style prompt seen below the Crash Course video.  And no, that doesn’t mean a group can submit a ‘group copy’ of work – everyone is responsible for their own work – this is all merely a suggestion of how to most effectively complete the work.