Video Summary: From declaring war to waging peace, history is shaped by the ideological beliefs of the people who lived it. Different people hold different ideas about human nature and how a society should be organized. In his ninth-grade world history class, Wendell Brooks explains how competing ideologies drive the world events that make up history.
Using concrete examples that students can relate to, Mr. Brooks begins by defining ideology. He introduces democracy as one example of an ideology at work in their lives. Students identify the specific principles and institutions representative of a democracy, as well as the conditions necessary for a democratic republic to survive.
Focusing on the period between World War I and the present, the class goes on to explore other ideologies and the tensions between them. The class divides into five groups, each representing a major ideology since World War I: democracy, totalitarianism, communism, fascism, and Nazism. Mr. Brooks asks students to assume the mindset of each ideology. He has each group develop a symbol, slogan, and mission statement for its ideology, find examples of the ideology at work in historical events, and describe its impact on people and cultures. The lesson concludes with group presentations, followed by class discussion.