Tuesday, January 11, 2022

KHOA KIM SANDS

January 10, 2022

Mr. Fitzhugh,
 
I wanted to tell you a bit about my history endeavors at my school apart from The Concord Review. Over the last five years, I've become increasingly alarmed at the state of history education. Students don't understand how history connects to their lives and the importance of studying history. Students are extremely passionate about current events and world affairs but don't understand how history can provide the context to understand these issues. I am concerned about how ubiquitous “social media education” is. Students are so confined to ideological echo chambers, with no historical nuance or context to inform their opinions. Reading your blog, I can tell you share these concerns.
 
Last year (around the same time I was working on Theocracy in Tibet), I began designing a history course to teach, titled Conflict in Context. The course focuses on the history of imperialism, and its effects on the modern world. Each unit covers a different model of “empire”—Europe, the Islamic World, China, and America. Students will learn about Westphalian Pluralism, Islamist universalism, etc, and different cultural systems of legitimacy.
 
I got approval from my school’s faculty to teach the course as an elective this semester: I'll be the first student teacher at my school. I started teaching last week, and the course has been very successful so far. Currently, the students have read Fukuyama’s The End of History?, and are beginning the unit on European Pluralism by examining the failures of Christian hegemony through the Holy Roman Empire.
 
I thought you would appreciate hearing about my course, and I’m happy to continue to update you throughout the semester. The students will be required to write a term paper.
 
Again, thank you for publishing my paper and for the Emerson Prize. This is the first academic accomplishment I can be truly proud of, knowing it was not influenced by grade inflation or other factors. I am truly honored.
 
Khoa Kim Sands
[Oakland School for the Arts
Theocracy in Tibet,
Spring 2022, Emerson V32]

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