8th Grade

History/Humanities

Eighth graders at Moses Brown spend their year in history thinking deeply about global issues.  Using their awareness of the historical and present-day experiences of people around the world, they consider the web of forces and relationships–religious, cultural, and economic–that influence people around the world.  They use their abilities to research, write, think critically, and make well-supported arguments as they steer around the pitfalls that come with defining history through a single lens.

We place particular emphasis on writing well, requiring students to plan, draft, revise, and engage in open-minded discussion and critique.  This reinforces the work they’re doing in English, and helps prepare them for the in-depth scholarship that will be required of them in upper school.

Inquire

Naturally, these discussions draw heavily from our values as a Quaker school, and ask children to address hard questions.  They explore the history of the Rwandan genocide and evaluate the effectiveness of the international response.  They examine and evaluate the global social and political factors that motivated international responses.

Students explore complex issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran’s role in the Middle East, and the history of the Kurdish people.  They select an aspect of these questions that feels personally meaningful, conduct intensive research with guidance by our professional library faculty, and demonstrate their learning in hands-on projects and public presentations.

At every step, students are asked to consider–and re-consider–the ‘story’ of history, and how the truth is illuminated by hearing multiple perspectives.

Singing history

MB Hamilton

This performance of two sections from the musical Hamilton was the finale of the 2016 Middle School Talent Show. Original music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Faculty

Graham Holland

Middle School History and Middle School Humanities Department Chair

About

Graham Holland

Brown University – B.A.
Lesley University – M.Ed.

Jonathan Gold

Middle School History and Academic Team Leader

About

Jonathan Gold

Brown University – B.A.
Columbia University – M.A.

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