Course Syllabus

Mr. Michael Reidy


Phone: 781-446-6290 x4631


Parent Video '22-23


Welcome to International Politics after the Cold War, and thank you for choosing to take this class! The beauty, excitement, and yes, rigor of the course rest in the interpretations you will offer when encountering theories, when examining cases or broad trends, and when building policy options for actors.  Curiosity, initiative, and persistence are three traits that will carry you this semester – nurture and hone these traits at all times.  Fulfilling this charge complements other behaviors.  Treat everyone in the class with respect.  Listen to and address your classmates in discussion.  Commit yourself to personal development and not simply getting the work done.  Risk.  We will all benefit. 

In this course, you will...

  • explore, critique, and apply principles that guide international relations
  • examine concrete cases and documents illustrative of changes and trends since the end of the Cold War
  • formulate and advocate policy options for state and non-state actors in an informed manner
  • improve the quality and independence in your thinking, reading, communication, and collaborative skills.
  • demonstrate creativity and ownership in the learning process

As juniors and seniors, you are ready for the academic freedom and responsibilities that this course offers.  Expect to be challenged, and know that when this occurs it is from deep intellectual and emotional respect for you.  I will maintain an environment that supports the open exchange of ideas, growth, and always strive for integrity and fairness in our interactions.  Come to class with an open mind and compassionate heart, and be prepared to speak knowledgeably on what we are learning.  Remember that what we do is important – you can do it – I will help. I look forward to working with you. 

Let’s commit to...

  • showing and nurturing curiosity, initiative, reflection, and persistence
  • reading and listening with an active intent to understand information and perspective
  • asking questions to clarify and deepen understanding
  • supporting arguments with sufficient, precise, accurate, relevant, and credible information
  • collaborating with your peers and teacher(s)
  • treating everyone in the class with respect
  • becoming individually and collectively smarter
  • taking risks that lead to successes and failures


What I care about is your growth and meaningful, durable learning in a class that is about your life, your world. The grading system, and learning opportunities within it are designed to reflect this value. Here are the learning standards (your targets), with elaboration in Canvas' 'Outcomes':

Social Studies EBG 2022-2023.pdf 

You will demonstrate competency in Explain, Synthesize, and Reflect through...

  • projects
  • simulations
  • quizzes
  • writing exercises
  • conferences
  • debates and/or discussions

...and I will try to indicate when criteria are prioritized or absent from these different types of assignments.  

Breakdown/Weights of Standards

Explain = Likely 3-4 per term, weighted 55% Q1, 35% Q2 

  • Note: Most of these will occur on Day 2.

Synthesize = Likely 2-3 per term, weighted 35% Q1, 55% Q2 

Reflect = Likely 1 per term, 10% Q1, 10% Q2


Extra Help/Office Hours/Curiosity Shares

There may be times when you need extra support in this class, or want to further discuss topics. Awesome! I want you to succeed, am here to help, and can encourage your curiosity.

The best ways to meet:

  • drop-in office hours Monday and Tuesday 2:30-2:50
  • drop-in office hours Day 2 8:00-8:30
  • by appointment
  • in the Social Studies Lab (with different teachers)  

Also, if emailing quick questions, please keep in mind that teachers and students keep very different hours - my responses to email questions may not happen the same evening given this difference.

Absences and Late Work

When you miss class for any reason, be responsible for obtaining missed handouts, assignments, and notes from the class; the completion of make-up work is in your hands.  Always start with Canvas, and then work with friends and/or Mr. Reidy. In short, be as prepared as possible when returning to class and proactively communicate to address questions or what may be due.  If you miss a deadline for a project or assignment, the missed deadline will be reflected in the Approach Outcome.

Approach to Learning and Areas of Study

If you inferred an importance on growth mindset, and ownership over your learning in this course, you inferred correctly! When possible in our time together, you get to decide what to learn, design the learning process, and create the product to best match the learning.  When this approach tackles a realistic problem by posing solution(s) intended for real-world audiences, it’s known as Project Based Learning (PBL). Whether we are using PBL explicitly, or using its principles or values more loosely, we will often be working in teams to complete products.


























Course Summary:

Date Details Due