IB 20th Century World History

Class Notes, Assignments, Readings, Etc.
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IB Assessment Resources
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IB 20th Century World History

Instructor    Lucas Rewa
Phone         269-323-5708
Building      Northern High School
Room         2124
E-mail  lrewa@portageps.org 

Course Description:

This course is an advanced, fast-paced, highly rigorous elective for motivated students who are looking for a challenging social studies curriculum. It is designed to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate Organization’s (IBO) final assessment in social studies. The IBO curriculum determines the course outline and scope. This course is the first of a two-course IB history sequence (see the syllabus or program of studies for the second course, IB History of the Americas HL). The student will study the global history of the 20th century, focusing on the causes and effects of war, the rise and rule of single-party states, and the Cold War. In addition, the student will be required to undertake an in-depth study of a historical subject. 

Essential Learning Expectations:

The aims of this course are to:
  • encourage the systematic and critical study of: human experience and behavior; physical, economic and social environments; the history and development of social and cultural institutions 
  • develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society 
  • enable the student to collect, describe and analyze data used in studies of society, to test hypotheses and interpret complex data and source material 
  • promote the appreciation of the way in which learning is relevant to both the culture in which the student lives, and the culture of other societies 
  • develop an awareness in the student that human attitudes and opinions are widely diverse and that a study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity 
  • enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies of history is contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty. 
  • promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of its sources, methods and interpretations 
  • encourage an understanding of the present through critical reflection upon the past 
  • encourage an understanding of the impact of historical developments at national, regional and international levels 
  • develop an awareness of one’s own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. 

Text used and other recommended materials:

  •   Gray, Brian, Sanjay Perera, Verity Aylward, and Mariam Habibi. Authoritarian States: Course Companion: Oxford IB Diploma Programme. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Smith, David M. Causes and Effects of 20th-Century Wars: Course Companion: Oxford IB Diploma Programme. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Thomas, Joanna and Keely Rogers. The Move to Global War: Course Companion: Oxford IB Diploma Programme. Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Various Articles and Text Excerpts
Course Requirements:

Students are required to complete the IB Internal Assessment (a research paper) as well as written examinations throughout the course. 


At the end of the marking period, the teacher will calculate students’ grades from tests, daily quizzes, specific assignments, etc. Letter grades will be assigned by the scale below.

Assignments are weighted. Tests, Quizzes, and other Assessments are worth .7. Homework and classwork are worth .3.

Student scores that result in .05 or higher should be rounded up. The following percentage scale applies.

100 - 91.5 = A
91.4 - 89.5 = A-
89.4 - 87.5 = B+
87.4 - 81.5 = B
81.4 - 79.5 = B-
79.4 - 77.5 = C+
77.4 - 71.5 = C
71.4 - 69.5 = C-
69.4 - 67.5 = D+
67.4 - 61.5 = D
61.4 - 59.5 = D-
59.4 - 0 = E

Grades will be rounded up only to the tenth place during this calculation. Students will only earn a passing grade for a marking period if they achieve at or above 59.45%, which rounds to 59.5%.

The final semester grade is based on a composite of two nine-weeks’ grades and the final examination/culminating assessment/project. Each nine weeks is worth approximately 40%, and the semester exam/project or District Culminating Activity assessment is worth approximately 20%.