History and Social Sciences History ! Modern European History This ninth grade course is a survey of western culture and civilization from the Middle Ages through World War I. Through a combination of primary sources (written and visual), secondary materials, and a basic textbook, students examine the major cultural, political, economic, social, and intellectual trends that shaped and continue to influence western thought and society. The course is thematic in scope and emphasis. Specific themes include: the rise of the modern nation state; the impact of religious ideas and political ideologies; and the major trends in literature and the arts. Assignments develop progressive skills in reading for meaning; applying concepts; supporting historical arguments; writing analytical essays; using research strategies and materials; and developing study organization and note-taking skills. Students are expected to master factual material and analytical and interpretive communication skills. (Full year, 1 credit) Modern European History Honors This ninth grade course is a study of western culture and civilization from the Middle Ages to World War I. Students examine, analyze, and make connections among the major cultural, political, economic, social, and intellectual trends which shaped and continue to influence western thought and society. The course is thematic in emphasis. Specific themes include: the rise of the modern nation state; the impact of religious ideas and political ideologies; and major trends in literature and the arts. Students are expected to do independent work with less scaffolding and be capable of pulling main ideas from readings so that class time can emphasize in-depth discussions of the content and critical thinking skills. The course develops progressive skills in identifying main ideas; applying concepts; supporting historical arguments; writing analytical essays; developing research strategies and materials; and discussing themes over time. (Full year, 1 credit) Contemporary World History This tenth grade course builds on the story of Modern European History. Students learn how current events are rooted in conflicts and solutions of the past. Topics include current events from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Students leave this course as â€œcitizens of the worldâ€? who are appreciative of cultural diversity and skilled in the interdisciplinary methods and concepts necessary for problem solving and critical thinking in an ever-changing world. Organization, note-taking, and analytical skills are stressed. Students use the Internet databases, periodicals, videos, maps, and charts to work on group projects, to research and write individual papers, and to communicate in a variety of formats. (Full year, 1 credit) United States History Responsible citizenship entails a firm understanding of the nationâ€™s past and its basic institutions. This eleventh grade course is an in-depth survey of the major political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, social, and intellectual trends in American life from the fifteenth through the twenty-first centuries. Major themes include: the nature of
leadership; the relationship between culture, economics, and politics; the ways in which the benefits and responsibilities of society are distributed in different periods and among different groups; the development of foreign policy; the use and abuse of force; and the blending of many cultures to create a great nation. Materials include a college level textbook, music, videos, primary sources, and a variety of Internet resources. Organizational and note-taking skills are refined; regular research opportunities present practice in computer and library literacy; and written, oral, analytic and synthetic skills are honed. (Full year, 1 credit) AP European History In this course, students master the basic chronology and major events and ideas from 1450 to the present. Significant primary source analysis and extensive supplementary secondary articles and excerpts accompany a college text. Frequent analytical essays and a number of field trips punctuate lecture and classroom discussion. Themes include changes in religious belief and the rise of secularism; political theory and scientific advances; the diffusion of knowledge among different social groups; changes in popular culture; the impact of global expansion on European culture; the rise of the nation state and nationalism; colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and global interdependence; the extension and limitation of rights and liberties; diplomacy and war; urbanization and the industrial revolution; changes in family and gender roles; and the major themes of literature, music, and the visual arts. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit) AP United States History AP United States History is a college-level course that parallels a college seminar and gives students the opportunity to earn college credit on the Advanced Placement examination. In this class, we will explore the foundations and development of the United States through a chronological look at the major themes, peoples, events, ideas, and movements in American history. Much of the supplementary reading will consist of primary sources as the ability to understand and analyze these is an integral component of the AP course. Students will be exposed to several writing assignments. These writing activities will help each student develop their analytical writing at an advanced level. (Full year, 1 credit)! ! !
History – Electives African Studies This course introduces students to the fascinating world of Africa, the birthplace of humankind. The course covers a variety of aspects of this, the second largest continent, including geography, early man, some of the early African kingdoms, such as Nubia, Ghana, and Songhay, and the slave trade. Later in the course, students learn about how the West came to know about Africa, and how Europeans carved up the continent for their own glorification. The course covers the African people’s reaction to all this, and looks closely at the mfecane, the “time of troubles.” Finally, students encounter some of the conflicts that have wracked Africa, including the Zulu Wars, the Boer War, and Africa between the wars, which led directly to African independence and Africa today, a continent with massive and tragic problems. Woven throughout the course are glimpses of African culture, folklore, art, music, dance, and food. (Semester, .50 credit) Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Civil Liberties This course focuses on understanding how the Constitution works to guarantee specific rights to United States citizens. Students take a close look at the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights to develop a greater understanding of the meaning and intent of these documents. Using a case-based method, students debate the controversial aspects of these fundamental freedoms. Utilizing many of the major historic Supreme Court cases, as well as cases of the post-9/11 world, students acquire a deeper comprehension of how the protection of rights fits into the structure of the Constitution and how these rights are the basis of what it means to be an American. The course thoroughly delves into two civil rights movements unique to the United States, that of African and Native Americans. In addition, students have the opportunity to explore a civil rights issue of global importance so that they may gain a greater understanding of issues facing those living outside the United States. (Semester, .50 credit) D.C. History This course focuses on archival primary source work that allows students to analyze and synthesize local history. Students establish partnerships with local archives to facilitate access to primary source documents. Projects also include the curation of local online history that is not currently available digitally, thus contributing to the larger field of historical research. The course allows students to look at history through a myriad of cultural lenses, for example the African-American experience in Washington, DC. (Semester, .50 credit) Global Art History This course is a study of the human experience as revealed through works of art. Students connect art and history by researching events and cultures that have inspired the “stories” told via painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, ceramics, and photography. Students are expected to research, present, and defend point papers, collaborate in discussion forums, and prepare a legacy book of artistic contributions within significant themes/time frames that become the final project for evaluation. (Semester, .50 credit)
Greek and Roman History and Civilization In this course, students learn the history of the ancient Greeks and Romans, gaining further insight into the cultures and daily lives of these civilizations through the study of their literature in particular and art, where applicable. By learning the history of these important civilizations, students are also able to parley this enhanced historical literacy into a greater cultural literacy, understanding the lessons of ancient history and drawing parallels between the problems and triumphs faced by the Greeks and Romans with those encountered by our civilization today. The course is open to all interested students in grades 10 and above. No prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. This course is considered either a history elective or a classics elective. (Semester, .50 credit) Greek and Roman Mythology In this course, students learn the most important mythological stories of the ancient Greeks and Romans with an eye toward discerning the priorities and fears of the civilizations that produced them. By learning details of these important myths, students are also able to parley this enhanced mythological literacy into a greater cultural literacy, appreciating the richness of Western literature and art and recognizing allusions to mythology that occur therein. Students are also able to detect universal archetypes and patterns across a variety of mythological stories and understand how they recur in myths from other cultures and other forms of media. The course is open to all interested students in grades 10 and above. No prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. This course is considered either a history elective or a classics elective. (Semester, .50 credit) History in the News The course attempts to build on the tenth and eleventh grade experiences in Contemporary World History and US History. Students will have acquired not only background knowledge of national and world events, but they will also be proficient at a number of technology skills such as Internet research strategies. (Semester, .50 credit) Middle East Issues In this course, students learn about a pivotal region in current affairs and politics. While students study historical events and developments in the area since the advent of the Ottoman Empire, the course focuses on significant elements and concepts that make the region unique, such as its diverse peoples and its noted conflicts. In addition, the course emphasizes the interplay of religion, social structure, literature, politics and history, with the purpose of creating in the student the ability to recognize these relationships whenever events are reported upon in the media. This course is open to juniors and seniors. (Semester, .50 credit) Russian Studies In this course, students learn about the culture and history of Russia, as well as the influence of Russia on European and Asian history. The emphasis of this course is on Russia in the modern world. Since this course is a general studies course, literature, music, society, and culture occupy a central place in the course. This course is offered to seniors. (Semester, .50 credit)
Social Sciences AP Comparative Government This course introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes. Comparison assists both in identifying problems and in analyzing policy-making. For example, we only know that a country has a high population growth rate or serious corruption when we compare it to other countries. Careful comparison of political systems produces useful knowledge about the institutions and policies countries have employed to address problems, or, indeed, what they have done to make things worse. We can compare the effectiveness of policy approaches to poverty, or overpopulation by examining how different countries solve similar problems. Furthermore, by comparing the political institutions and practices of wealthy and poor countries, we can begin to understand the political consequences of economic well-being. Finally, comparison assists explanation. Why are some countries stable democracies and not others? Why do many democracies have prime ministers instead of presidents? In addition to covering the major concepts that are used to organize and interpret what we know about political phenomena and relationships, the course covers specific countries and their governments. ! Seven countries form the core of the course: the United States, China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. By using these seven countries, the course moves the discussion of concepts from abstract definition to concrete example, noting that not all concepts are equally useful in all country settings. The course adds a study of the same concepts for the U.S. government to assist students with comparison to something they should have some familiarity with after completing U.S. History, which is a prerequisite to this course. (Full year, 1 credit)! AP Macroeconomics The purpose of any course in economics is to teach students how to calculate the benefits and costs of making tough choices with scarce resources. Macroeconomics uses tools to assess the behavior of the economy as a whole. Students learn about the world created when land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurial activity become universally marketable. The course covers the following topics: fundamental economic concepts; measurements of economic performance; national income and price determination; and international economics. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit) AP Microeconomics The purpose of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. The course places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students may !
take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit) AP Psychology This course follows the guidelines of the College Board by examining fourteen different areas of the discipline of psychology. The class introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. The topics covered in the class range from biological psychology and basic statistics to abnormal psychology and social psychology. Common themes throughout the course include a constant analysis of nature versus nurture and a discussion of how different psychologists look at the mind and behavior. All students are expected to take the AP Exam in May; throughout the year, students take tests that mimic the format of the exam. Students may take this course with departmental approval. Priority placement is given to seniors. (Full year, 1 credit) AP United States Government This course is concerned with the nature of the American political system, its development over the past two hundred years, and how it works today. It examines the principle processes and institutions through which the political system functions, as well as the policies that these institutions establish and how they are implemented. This course is designed to increase understanding of traditions, values, and framework, as well as to understand how its components work together. Students exercise higher order thinking skills in their efforts to understand the full range of each issue and, therefore, become independent social critics capable of fulfilling their responsibilities as active and informed members of a democracy. The skills of critical analysis, visual representation of data, thesis-driven writing, and public speaking are all emphasized. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit) Human Development This course is designed to provide a developmentally appropriate framework for factual content and behavioral strategies to help adolescents navigate the physical, social, and emotional aspects of their lives. Students learn the importance of how to keep themselves socially, emotionally, and physically healthy. Students learn how to evaluate social situations, which include peer pressure, decision-making, and understanding themselves, and others, in relationships. Students learn to identify mental health issues within themselves and others and are able to apply what they have learned so they can seek help in situations regarding mental health. This course is required of all ninth grade students. (Quarter, .25 credit) Introduction to Economics This course consists of an overview of general economic reasoning skills, macro and micro topics, and connections to current events. Students also explore topics in personal finance such as goal setting, budgets, investing, and taxes. This course is open to juniors and seniors. (Semester, .50 credit)
Psychology In this course, students examine patterns and variations of human behavior and the process of individual human development. They examine the emotional, intellectual, and physical factors that influence the development of human beings. Students distinguish among the major schools or perspectives and systems of psychology and methods of investigations. Students also look at the mental processes and biological rationale for behavior. The course provides students with a hands-on approach in which they become active learners in the understanding of psychology. (Semester, .50 credit) A Social Sciences Approach to Biological Issues This course seeks to engage students in a collaborative effort to explore local and global biological dilemmas and propose possible solutions. Students work in collaborative teams to learn the pertinent biology and social science concepts and principles needed to understand and address these issues. The course is considered either a history elective or a science elective. (Semester, .50 credit) World Religions and Ethics This course explores the major beliefs of Hinduism,Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as articulated in the sacred literature of each of these religions and as they relate to the world in which we currently live. The primary goal of the course is to try to begin to stand in the shoes of one of the followers of each of these faith traditions. In addition to primary source material, the course uses both a secondary commentary and a series of videos on "The World's Religions," by Huston Smith. The course largely follows a seminar format, based on a selection of questions that emerge from the readings. Along with traditional quizzes and tests, there are also several papers on key, essential questions that are at the heart of the study of most religions. The course also includes several visits to museums and different houses of worship. (Semester, .50 credit) Possible History/Social Science Sequencing Paths Grade 9
Modern European History
Contemporary World History
Modern European History Honors
AP European History
AP U.S. History
AP Social Sciences courses
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