World War I Unit

Here we go. My WWI unit is definitely one of my favorites – although it is a tad bit depressing. It is the first unit that really grabs the students. No doubt the fact that it is about war is a major factor, but it also looks at the human side of being a soldier and the choice to participate in a war. When is it appropriate to fight for your country? When you join the military, what are getting yourself into?

Our class discussions should be interesting. With the war in Iraq raging and the political rhetoric of the election still fresh in our minds, I am expecting a different reaction to the content. In previous years – even last year, the reaction to this unit has been mostly positive, with most students determining on their own that war should only be fought for just reasons and at last resort. This year, many people could argue that Iraq does not fit that bill and do not support the policies of the Bush administration to engage in this war. However, based upon past discussions, most of my students strongly support the war. Those discussions that link the two conflicts might cause some conflicted feelings. Or maybe conclusions will just be different this year.

Could I be more apolitical here? Unfortunately, I have to walk a fine line between my politics and my teaching. It would be nice to be a college professor where blurred lines are accepted as commonplace.

One thought on “World War I Unit”

  1. I teach U.S. History and I feel the same way. My colleagues and I all let out a sigh of relief when we get to World War I (which we finish this week). From here on out, things are more interesting and the students are much more engaged. My favorite unit though, is the next one — the 20’s and 30’s.

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