Today is the anniversary of Texas’s independence from Mexico. I was puzzling over how to integrate this into the IB curriculum; after all, there are a lot of IB schools in Texas and many of these have state requirements that they need to integrate into the IB syllabus.

Given that the Americas curriculum has a section on nation-building, it could very well fit in there. It could also, perhaps, fall under Independencde Movements, albeit in a very tenuous manner. When I teach the Mexican revolution I spend a lot of time on 19th century developments that affect the revolution, so I include it as background to the unit.

This brings up an interesting question of how to insert issues of local interest into an international curriculum. No one doubts the importance of internationalism and the need for it, especially in places where localism is emphasized. However, there are a number of IB students who are not from the area where they are studying. A unit in local history is just as valuable for looking at the large themes of history. Most syllabi allow for case studies of countries in their region, but if you look at the questions that students answer, few schools treat these in a way which gives students the confidence to write on them.

My dear friend the Social Anthropology teacher often quotes the dictum that his objective is to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Do we have a similar adage?
This is a pedagogical issue; as the IB begins the curriculum review process for history this is an issue that we need to treat. Most historians worry that their own pet projects or interests donn’t fit into the curriculum – how can we construct one that incorporates necessary concepts with latitude? Is the issue with the syllabus or the methods of assessment?