Social Studies Courses

World History (Course 300)

Grade 9

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

This one-year required course is designed to educate the students in the history, the mechanics, and the make-up of the world.  This course has been designed to help the student gain a general understanding of the modern world and how this history affects us today, as well as to specifically provide the student with skills for the future. The following skills will be emphasized in this class:  organizing information, critical thinking, forming and writing arguments, evaluating historical statements and researching historical events.   It is expected that students analyze events and issues beginning with the birth of the Industrial Age with an emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

World History Honors (Course 307)                                                      

Grade 9

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

This one-year course challenges incoming freshman to expand their social and cultural horizons and attain a global perspective.  Beyond educating the students in the history, the mechanics, and the make-up of the world, this course challenges the students to pursue answers to the big questions, such as How did we get here, Where have we been, and Where are we going? The following skills will be emphasized in this class:  organizing information, critical thinking, forming and writing arguments, evaluating historical statements and researching historical events.   It is expected that students analyze events and issues beginning with the birth of the Industrial Age with an emphasis on the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

United States History (Course 311)

Grade 10

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

U.S. History is general survey of American history from the Reconstruction Era to the present, with emphasis on the 20th century. Thematic units include Westward Expansion, Urbanization and Immigration, Progressivism and Imperialism, World War I, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and Its Aftermath, and the Cultural Changes of the 1960’s and beyond. Emphasis is placed upon researching and writing term papers relevant to the time periods being studied.

 

United States History Honors (Course 313) 

Grade 10

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

U.S. History is general survey of American history from the Reconstruction Era to the present, with emphasis on the 20th century. Thematic units include Westward Expansion, Urbanization and Immigration, Progressivism and Imperialism, World War I, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War and Its Aftermath, and the Cultural Changes of the 1960’s and beyond. Emphasis is placed upon researching and writing term papers relevant to the time periods being studied.

 

American History through Film (Course 378)                         

Grades 11-12

.5 Credit                                                                                                        

Semester

Note: Elective courses are offered based on teacher availability and student need. This class may not be taught some years.

American History through Film is a college-level seminar course in which students examine historical figures, memorable events, political movements, and notable atrocities throughout the course of United States and world history. Each student must produce an analytical critique of each movie. Students are responsible for their own research with supervision and assistance from the instructor.  Papers are based on topics in the films and on primary and secondary sources.

 

Civics (Course 321)

Grades 11-12

.5 Credit                                                                                                        

Semester

Civics provides in-depth study of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and forms of government found throughout the world, such as republic, democracy, totalitarian, and monarchy. Students examine how various forms of government operate, as well as why societies have established different types of government.  The effects of these governments on society are also addressed. Students examine contemporary political, economic, and social orders to determine how governments operate under various conditions. Please note:  State law mandates this course for high school graduation.

 

Honors Constitutional Law (Course 360)                                  

Grades 11-12

1 Credit

Full Year

Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

Two Yale Law School students co-teach Honors Constitutional Law, which explores the major principles of the U.S. Constitution through the study of public education. We examine the political controversies of schools—racial segregation, locker searches, student speech, and school prayer, among others—as flashpoints of major constitutional questions. In the fall semester, students have weekly reading and writing assignments based on past Supreme Court decisions. In the spring, students compose appellate briefs and prepare oral arguments to compete in a moot court competition, the national finals of which take place in Philadelphia.

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology (Course 346)         

Recommended Grades 10 & 12 

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

Prerequisite: B in Social Studies class and/or Social Studies teacher
recommendation

The central question addressed in this university-level course is “how do psychologists think?”  Good psychologists are both empathetic counselors and objective scientists.  The course objective stems from this essential question and acknowledges the complicated dual role of the psychologist. AP Psychology presents the history and approaches of psychology, introduces research methods, the biological basis of behavior including genetics, sensation and perception, the nervous system, growth and development, learning, motivation and emotion, personality, psychological disorders, as well as social psychology.  Students who are enrolled in this course will take the Advanced Placement Psychology Exam in early May.  Students who receive a 4 or higher on the AP exam may receive university credit.

 

Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. Government & Politics (Course 343)                    

Grade 11-12

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

Prerequisite: B  in Social Studies class and/or Social Studies teacher recommendation.

Do you want to become an engaged citizen? Do you want to be an informed voter in local and national elections? Be a better citizen throughout your life. AP Government and Politics is a rigorous course involving both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. Concepts are taught through teacher lectures, independent readings, research papers, PowerPoint presentations, oral reports, and instructional theories. Students successfully completing this course know important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. government and policy, understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences, and can analyze basic data relevant to U.S. government and politics. As in all AP classes, students and parents must sign a commitment contract and understand that students will take the national AP exam in May as a portion of their fourth-quarter grade. Please note:  This course replaces Civics requirement and consequently meets the state’s mandate for high school graduation.

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Art History (Course 646)              

Grade 10-12

1 Credit                                                                                                          

Full Year

Prerequisite: teacher recommendation

The AP Art History course explores such topics as the nature of art, its uses, its meanings, art making, and response to art.  Through investigation of diverse artistic traditions of cultures from prehistory to the present, the course fosters in-depth and holistic understanding of the history or art from a global perspective.  Students learn and apply skills of visual, contextual, and comparative analysis to engage with a variety of art forms, constructing understanding of individual works and interconnections of art-making processes and products throughout history.  This course is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university art history survey course.

 

Introduction to Psychology 

Grades 11-12

.5 Credit                                                                                                        

Semester

This course presents the history of psychology and introduces the scientific method, measurement, nervous system, growth and development, perception, motivation, emotion, learning behavior disorders, and personality.

 

Facing History and Ourselves (Course 370)    

Recommended Grade 12

0.5 credit                                                                                                      

Semester

Note: All elective courses are offered based on teacher availability and student need.  As a result, this class may not be taught in some years.

Facing History and Ourselves is a citizenship education program that examines racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of prejudice via the study of history. The course is inquiry-based, student-centered, and interactive. In the first semester, students study life in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to answer essential questions about human behavior. In the second semester, genocide in Armenia, Rwanda, and the Darfur region of Sudan; apartheid in South Africa; and the Eugenics movement in America are studied through written narratives, literature, film, simulations, and trials. Essential questions force students to grapple with moral and ethical dilemmas, including, “How could the Nazis and Adolf Hitler come to power? What did average people do in everyday life to allow these events to take place? How could things have been different?” By studying the years leading up to and including the atrocities, learners make real-life connections to their own decision-making today. Questions such as “What do we do in our everyday lives that allows discrimination and inequality to continue? How are we responsible as citizens in a democracy? How can our own actions and attitudes change the world?” serve to frame the course.