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Sara Olds

BA - Humanities

MA - American Fine & Decorative Arts

Sara Olds received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Brigham Young University, and her Masters of Arts in American Fine and Decorative Arts from The Sotheby's Institute in New York. Sara also completed training in Arts Integration at The Crystal Bridges Museum....


Along with her focused study in business, her academic and work careers have given her unique insight into the practical application of the arts within various academic disciplines. Her interest in education blossomed during her master's program, when she recognized the failings of the traditional school system to encourage and teach individuals to learn to learn, and love to learn. She also became keenly aware of  the  Humanities' unique ability to unite information from various fields and solidify understanding of new material. The Humanities also indirectly teach skills for life, including critical analysis, empathy, and tolerance to name a few.


In addition to her love of the arts, Sara loves to teach. She has taught everything from swim lessons, to voice & piano lessons, to operating her own summer camp. Inspired by her second grade teacher, Sara believes learning is, and should be fun! 

World History - Modern Civilizations

Ages:  13+


  • In Person in Valencia and Live Online

Teacher:  Sara Olds


Required - Approximately 2 hours per week.  Students will show a mastery of the subject matter through essays, presentations, projects and more. Students that do not have time to read selections and prepare homework projects should not enroll in this class. 

Participation is required and part of the student's grade.


Class Resources: 

(Students will be required to access this suite of books from the library, a personal library, or purchase or from audio books!)

  • Selections from Gilgamesh

  • Selections from The Republic - Plato

  • The Apology of Socrates

  • On the Soul - Aristotle

  • Selections from the Magna Carta

  • Tale of Two Cities - Dickens

  • Sybil - Benjamin Desrali

  • A Passage to India - E M Forester

  • The Razor’s Edge - W Sommerset Maughm


Note:  This class is designed to incorporate a-g outlines from Blue Ridge Academy.   Students and parents are responsible to ensure all Blue Ridge requirements are being met by the student.


The objective of this World History class is for students to study the major philosophies, ideas, events and turning points that shaped the world we experience today. They will explore questions like: Why do countries choose the particular policies? Why have countries chosen to engage in isolationism/globalism? What led to industrialization? What were the effects and consequences? What questions arose for the people of their day as a result of the changes they saw in the world around them? What ideas/events gave rise to monarchies, empires, democracies, representative democracy, socialism, fascism, communism, etc.? What caused the collapse of some societies and the rise of others?


Students will be expected to draw their own conclusions about each system of government, and how those systems of government affect its citizens and the world as a whole. These questions will require a close look at the belief systems, philosophers and philosophies that shaped modern civilization. We will examine how these ideas played out, not only in Europe, but in Asia, Africa, and North and South America. 


Students will study literature and art from each period as part of their source documents and resources.


Students are welcome to choose topics of interest to research related to the unit subject matter, or they can use suggested topics that will be provided to them. 


Class Resources

We will not use a textbook in this class.

Our main resources will be primary sources: books, novels, periodicals, art, documentaries and several online resources from experts in the field. 


  1. Early Philosophies: The Foundation of Governance - Understanding the philosophies of governance that developed in the ancient world and how the set the stage for future powers. 

    1. Mesopotamia - Hammurabi

    2. Greece - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

    3. Rome

    4. Judeo-Christian

  2. Renaissance, Reformation & Revolution

    1. Magna Carta

    2. English Bill of Rights

    3. American Declaration of Independence/Constitution

    4. French Revolution

  3. Industrial Revolution: England, America and abroad

  4. Nationalism & Imperialism

  5. World War I

  6. Between the Wars

  7. WWII

  8. The Cold War

  9. New Nations/New World





  • Participation:  30%

  • Unit Key Assignments / Quizzes- 50%

  • End of Course Portfolio - 20%



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