Social Justice

GUNS, GERMS & STEEL: Roots of Global Inequality

Course No. HI406X, HI506X

Why did the world become so unequal?  Why have some societies developed more quickly than others?  How come Europe conquered the Americas and not the other way around?  Help your students understand these essential questions by learning the theories that Jared Diamond presented his Pulitzer-prize winning book, Guns, Germs and Steel.   Professor Diamond dispels any ideas of racial inequality to claim that power has nothing to do with personal qualities, but with geographic advantages.  He expertly weaves geography and history to provide a clear picture as to why some countries have developed more quickly, enabling them to take over other, less-developed nations.  Using the PBS documentary based on the book and the accompanying website, you will gain a clear understanding of Diamond’s research and develop ways to apply his ideas in the classroom.  Additionally, students taking the course for 500 level will explore ideas from his latest book Collapse, on what causes societies to collapse.  This course is most appropriate to Grades 6-12 History or Geography teachers and World or Global Studies teachers.

There will be no additional fee for those with a Netflix subscription.  Otherwise, fee will vary with choice of video purchase or alternate book. 

We advise you to review and download the course syllabus before registering. Syllabus

Known how to engage students in the larger dynamics and questions behind history

  1. Understand that the layout of the continents, including their latitude and longitude, influenced societal development
  2. Understand that every culture has intelligence and ingenuity; racial differences do not determine the development of societies
  3. Understand that world power and domination can be traced back thousands of years to agricultural development
  4. Know that domestication of animals proved to be an important influence on global inequality
  5. Understand that disease proliferation and epidemics are intricately connected with geography and societal development

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