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Day 69: Choke Points
By Mark Heintz
Nov 20, 2019

Day 69

Student Contribution by Gabby and Owen

We were looking at all the oil choke points in the world and how it affects traffic between ships. We were also looking at how trade and oil shipping can control a country. While we read the article we wrote things we noticed and wondered about. After we had our questions written down, we switched tables and attempted to answer the questions. You can click here to view the entire website: Choke points.

I feel that I haven’t grown as much as a learner. However, I’ve been trying to set goals for when I actually study and while I’m taking tests. As the year goes on, I hope I grow more as a learner.

I’m getting better at recalling facts to get good grades, I can also name like, nearly two whole continents. Europe and Asia. A specific instance of this was on Wednesday, when I did the weekly review, and I managed to get full marks on both maps, and remembered stuff from the first unit.

I wish to learn more about things I already know about, but we’ll probably not study that.

My Response

Today, things started to come together. The first few days of the political geography unit are tough. There is a lot of information that is needed to understand the world, and most of the “basic” information is not common knowledge for freshmen. For instance, the students need to know — for this class — state, nation, nation-state, stateless nation, semi-autonomous region, multi-state nation, multi-nation state, and autonomous region. That is one of nine objectives.

When the students were analyzing oil choke points, they were bringing in the concept of sovereignty, laws of the sea, neocolonialism, mandates from WWI, and shatter belts to help explain the significance of choke points. This unit, I’m having the students chart their beliefs on power. Every day, they use examples from class to expand upon, support, or challenge their definition on power.  The students started to understand the state structure. They are making connections — on their own — how the world is working.

Next Steps

Do this daily. I need students to interrupt contemporary global events every day.  They need to use the concepts in action. I can’t guide them through exercises that are contrived. They learn better and go deeper when they are reading because they are connecting it to their own world.  As Owen stated, he wants to learn about things that he’s interested in. I can create time for that. I can let him do that.

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