Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Putting the “world” in World History 3

Plenty of us have been there: taking seemingly pointless multiple choice tests, memorizing facts we probably won’t use in daily life, and maybe even having to remember that President Andrew Johnson’s birthday was December 29, 1808. 

Many students have a moment where they question the importance of history class, and Liberty’s very own history department has implemented a series of World History 3 curriculum updates this school year that aim to make history relevant to students and focus on contemporary issues that affect the world today. One of the main changes to the class is that there is more focus on genocides that are happening and have happened all over the world. 

“We have a new unit on genocide, which is very challenging to teach, since it’s a very sensitive topic,” history teacher Peter Kurtz said. “Despite this, I think that it’s great that we’re not trying to avoid the big topics.”

Kurtz and fellow history teacher Brittany Fannon both raised the point that there are refugees at Liberty that move to the Seattle area to avoid genocides and conflicts in the world.

“Students should know about these atrocities,” Fannon said. 

Not only are educators at Liberty passionate about spreading awareness about genocide– so are many students.

“Genocide happens everyday and to be aware of it and all the people being hurt and killed is really important because we need to stop the evil,” sophomore Lizzy Hammond said.

In addition to the history department implementing more curriculum related to genocides worldwide, Kurtz is making a push to add future curriculum to World History 3 on the genocide of the Native Americans.

“This summer I plan on adding curriculum for the class moving forward on the genocide against indigenous people that the United States committed right in our own backyard,” Kurtz said. “That’s history that is well overdue to be taught.” 

On top of the increased focus on genocide in the class, students are no longer tested almost exclusively with multiple choice and information heavy exams as done in the past. 

“Instead of a bunch of multiple choice tests, students are now making presentations, writing papers, and working on creative projects that allow them to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways that focus on a diversity of academic strengths,” Kurtz said.

At the end of the day, not only are the changes to the World History 3 class intended to increase student awareness around contemporary issues, but also they are to make the class more focused on, well, world history.

“A few years ago, world history here at Liberty was very Eurocentric, and pretty much everything was looked at through the perspective of Europe and the U.S.,” Fannon said. “A lot of the changes being made to focus on genocide and history from other parts of the world are really putting an emphasis on this class being a world history class.”

About the Contributor
Lucas Counts
Lucas Counts, Editorial Board Member
Lucas Counts is a senior at Liberty High School and an Editorial Board Member of the Patriot Press, in addition to being the Online Editor. In his free time, he is a professional writer of 4+ years, is passionate about business, and loves nature.