These standards enable students to examine history and geography from 1500 A.D. (C.E.) to the present, with emphasis on Western Europe. Geographic influences on history will continue to be explored, but increasing attention will be given to political boundaries that developed with the evolution of nations. Significant attention will be given to the ways in which scientific and technological revolutions created new economic conditions that in turn produced social and political changes. Noteworthy people and events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be emphasized for their strong connections to contemporary issues.

The study of history rests on knowledge of dates, names, places, events, and ideas. Historical understanding, however, requires students to engage in historical thinking, to raise questions, and to marshal evidence in support of their answers. Students engaged in historical thinking draw upon chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretation, historical research, and decision making. These skills are developed through the study of significant historical substance from the era or society being studied.