Map Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean


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OSPM Module 6: Download Complete Teaching Module (3 FILES)


OSPM Module 6: Download Complete Teaching Module (3 FILES)


Module 6: The Modern Mediterranean, 1945-Present

This set of lessons on the modern Mediterranean addresses the complex history of the region in the 20th century through a variety of lenses, from the Second World War up to the Arab uprisings of 2011. The module contains resources and lesson plans addressing themes of environmental, social, cultural and political history. Using a variety of perspectives, students construct their understanding of the past and relate it to the present. First, the module aims to provide alternative views on established historical topics found in high school history courses. Focusing on the Mediterranean, students engage with World War II and the postwar European recovery, globalisation and urbanisation, the Cold War and the growing role of the United States in this region. Second, through carefully selected case studies, it highlights large scale processes and broad concepts impacting this period. Environmental change, anti-immigration movements, xenophobia, modernity, and the growth of communication and transportation technologies are major themes throughout the lessons and resources. Finally, the module’s design de-emphasizes an authoritative narrative in order to allow more active learning to happen. This is done primarily through the organising role of key questions, individualized objectives, and document based inquiries. Overall, module 6’s lessons utilizes the Mediterranean world as an entry point into global education, empowers teachers to bring complex topics into the classroom, and encourages active student engagement and curiosity.


Jonathan Even-Zohar and Craig Perrier


Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean: A World History Curriculum Project for Educators


Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, George Mason University




2014, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, George Mason University, published under Creative Commons – Attribution-No Derivatives 3.0 License


Introduction to Module 6

During the second half of the 20th Century the world experienced dramatic changes which fundamentally impacted the lives of billions. Technological advancements provided unforeseen opportunities but also altered warfare resulting in carnage and destruction on a historically unprecedented scale. Superpowers armed with nuclear weapons shaped a global world order. Empires were replaced by nation-states, many of which struggled to achieve political and economic development. The rise of multinational companies and the growth of worldwide trade gave rise to a truly global marketplace. Largely as a function of this new world economy, people, goods, and ideas began to move around the globe far more easily and rapidly than in the past. Mass media and later the Internet helped spawn common global cultural experiences, with new forms of entertainment emerging alongside innovative types of digital resistance that challenged established political powers. The explosion of industry and global consumption of manufactured goods caused irreparable changes to the planet as oceans and seas became depleted and pollution rampant. This period in history is generally viewed from a geopolitical lens, in which the USA and the Soviet Union play the leading roles and a “Third World” is typically marginalized. Mediterranean nations are conventionally viewed according to their place in this superpower enforced world order. Yet, if we alter our perspective and historical understanding, we can find another lens with which to view the Mediterranean’s recent past. This alternative interpretation treats the Mediterranean instead as a space for observing and understanding forces affecting every part of the globe. In the following series of topics, we look at the big questions and issues that help us understand the 20th and 21st centuries with the Mediterranean world at the core. From this stance we may understand and find answers to contemporary and future challenges that aren’t part of the traditional histories found in history textbooks.



Jonathan Even-Zohar and Craig Perrier, “OSPM Module 6: Download Complete Teaching Module (3 FILES),” Our Shared Past in the Mediterranean: Teaching Modules , accessed August 3, 2020,