SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT
Early US History & Civics Grade 7 Full Year
The goal of this course is to acquaint students with the rights and responsibilities of United States and Massachusetts citizenship and the process, in history, by which those rights and responsibilities were born. Topics of study include the history of European colonization of North America, the development of colonial society, the events that led the British North American colonies toward independence, the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation and the US Constitution, and debates about how to implement the Constitution in the early history of the United States. Since there will be a strong Civics component to the course, another course objective will be to educate students in the skills necessary to participate in civil society. Topics of study will include the foundations and development of the United States government, the language of the Constitution, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, the structure of Massachusetts state and local government, and media literacy in a free democracy. Throughout the year, students will analyze primary and secondary sources and interpret maps, charts, and graphs. Students will develop their understanding of causal relationships, their skills in summarizing, comparing, and contrasting the information they discover, and the importance of context in history. Project-based work will focus on research, writing, proper attribution, and the exploration of creative techniques for logical and organized communication in work product presentation.
World History I Grade 8 Full Year World History I
is a course designed to acquaint the student with the basic historical events that shaped the character and the advancement of man from the rise of Europe during Medieval times, the Byzantine Empire, and Muslim Civilizations as they merged into the Kingdoms and Trading States of Africa and Southeast Asia. The course will culminate with an understanding of the Age of Exploration beginning with the Renaissance and ending with the Age of Absolutism. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the comparison of the various social, economic, and political developments of man.
World History II Grade 9 1 Credit
World History II is a completion of a two-year voyage that has encouraged the student to understand the basic historical events that have shaped the character and the advancement of man. World History II will explore the world as it forges ahead into the wonders of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, Nationalism, Imperialism, and Totalitarianism. The course will examine World War I and World War II from a global perspective as well. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the comparison of the various social, economic, and political developments of man.
US History I Grade 10 1 Credit
The purpose of this course will be to help students acquire the broad understanding of US History and Government necessary to be active and informed citizens. Topics from US History between the late 1700s and 1917 to be covered will include the American Revolution, the US Constitution, Early National Period, Jeffersonian Era, Industrial Revolution, Jacksonian Era, slavery in American, Antebellum-era reform movements, westward expansion, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Gilded Age, and Populist and Progressive reform movements. The course will also focus on American government and politics with special attention paid to the development and features of the US Constitution and the structure, powers and interaction between the three branches of the federal government. World History II is a prerequisite of this course.
US History II Grade 11 0.5 Credit Fall Semester
The purpose of this semester course will be to build upon the understanding of US History through 1917 that students acquired in US History I. Topics from US History to be covered include World War I, the 1920s, the Great Depression and New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, reform movements of the 1950s-1970s (including the women’s movement and civil rights movement), Watergate, the Conservative Revolution and Twenty-First Century America. The course will also emphasize the development of American government and politics throughout the Twentieth Century and into the Twenty-First, including the growth of federal power and the role of the federal court system in the civil rights revolution. A special requirement of the course will be the completion of a research project, based on the National History Day model. US History I is a prerequisite of the course.
AP US History Grade 11 1 Credit
The purpose of this College Board Advanced Placement US History course is to engage students in collegiate level coursework and encourage the development of a broad and sophisticated understanding of US History, and the skills necessary to succeed on the AP US History exam. The course will enhance students’ understanding of all periods of US History through the present. Students will develop historical thinking skills including: analyzing primary and secondary sources: developing historical arguments: making historical connections: and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time. Students will also study college-level research skills and produce a major research paper in the spring. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP US History exam at the end of the academic year. The recommendation of the student’s most recent social studies teacher and the approval of the department chair are prerequisites for this course.
AP US Government & Politics Grade 11 – 12 1 Credit
The purpose of this College Board Advanced Placement US Government & Politics course is to engage students in collegiate level coursework and encourage the development of a broad and sophisticated understanding of US government and politics, and the skills necessary to succeed on the AP US Government & Politics exam. Topics of study will include the philosophical foundations of American government, the Articles of Confederation and US Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Federalism, Interest Groups, voting, elections and political ideologies, campaign finance regulations, political demographics, Congress, the presidency, and the federal courts and constitutional law. Because much of what students study in the course will be reflected in current events, students will also be encouraged to follow and discuss current political and governmental issues. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP US Government & Politics exam at the end of the academic year. The recommendation of the student’s junior year US History teacher and the approval of the department chair are prerequisites for this course.
Psychology Grade 11 – 12 0.5 Credit
This goal of this semester elective course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of psychology through a survey study of the field. As such, this course will cover the following topics: The Science of Psychology, The Biological Basis of Behavior, Sensation and Perception, Learning, Cognition and Mental Abilities, Personality, and Psychological Disorders. This class will provide students with a broad understanding of the foundations of neuroscience and the structures of the brain: how the human mind works, and how our understanding of the human mind has changed over time. This will be a writing intensive class. Students in this class will be challenged to develop their writing, both in terms of structure and grammar, but also within their ability to adhere to conventions of the field. Students will be challenged to analyze, contextualize, and create arguments surrounding events and theories from psychology, thus beginning to build skills that will be used in future academic pursuits. To enroll in this class a student must first be recommended for it by their most recent Social Studies teacher.
AP Psychology Grade 11 – 12 1 Credit
This College Board Advanced Placement course will survey the many areas of focus within the field of Psychology. The course is designed to provide students with the broad and sophisticated understanding of this complex and nuanced field, preparing students to excel on the AP Exam. In addition to preparing students for the AP Exam, this class also contains a large research component designed to prepare students for collegiate research. As such, the improvement of students’ writing, speaking, and analytical skills will be a primary mission of the course. This Advanced Placement course requires diligent work, and as we will cover several subfields of psychology (e.g. Biological Basis of Behavior, Psychological Theory, Psychological Disorders, Emotion, Personality, Perception, and States of Consciousness, amongst others), each of which will have to be covered in an accelerated manner that requires independent time on task. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Psychology exam at the end of the academic year. Admission to this elective College Board AP course requires the recommendation of the student’s most recent social studies teacher and the approval of the department chair.
AP European History Grade 10 – 12 1 Credit
The purpose of this College Board Advanced Placement course is to equip students with the necessary content and skills to investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in European history from approximately 1450 to the present, preparing students to excel on the AP Exam. Students will develop historical thinking skills including: analyzing primary and secondary sources, developing historical arguments, making historical connections, and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time. Students will explore the interaction of Europe and the world, economic and commercial development, cultural and intellectual development, states and other institutions of power, social organization and development, national and European identity, and technological and scientific innovations. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP European History exam at the end of the academic year. Students must have completed at least World History II in order to enroll in this class. Additionally, admission to this elective College Board AP course requires the recommendation of the student’s most recent social studies teacher and the approval of the department chair.
Criminal Justice Grade 11 – 12 0.5 Credit
The goal of this semester elective course is to provide students with a foundational survey of Criminal Justice with a focus on the various processing stages, practices, and field personnel in the criminal justice system. This course examines law enforcement and the problem of crime in American society. Both historical and contemporary components of the system, including the police, the courts, and correctional agencies are explored. Students will examine both the effects of crime upon communities, as well as the criminal justice system response to crime in our contemporary society. Prerequisite: Unites States History and Government I, department chair approval.
Eastern European History Grade 11 – 12 0.5 Credit
The purpose of this semester elective course is to develop student appreciation for the dynamic historical events of Eastern Europe from the 14th century to the end of the 20th century. Topics of study include: the end of Mongol rule, the rise of Russia, the wars of religion, the rise of Poland and Lithuania, the turmoil in the Balkans, the Age of Revolution, the breakup of Austria-Hungary, and survey the modern era, ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War: an event that historian Francis Fukuyama termed “The End of History.” This elective course will also focus on the important events happening in Eastern Europe in nations such as Russia, Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, as well and the Baltic and Balkan nations. Students who wish to take this course should gain approval from their most recent social studies teacher.
The Power to Change: Social Movements and their Inspiration Grade 11 – 12 0.5 Credit INTERDISCIPLINARY
The purpose of this interdisciplinary semester elective course is to equip students with the content and skills to explore the causes of American reform movements and the motivations of those responsible for them – what gives people the will to challenge the status quo and lead movements for change. The course is interdisciplinary in nature because it includes the exploration of faith and religion as a source of social activism and civil advocacy. Members of the Theology Department and Campus Ministry will be invited to contribute, as will appropriate guest speakers from the community. Topics of study will include the Pueblo Revolt, the Puritan “city upon a hill,” the anti-slavery movement, Antebellum-era reform and utopian movements, women’s rights movements of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, the Civil Rights Movement, and Native American rights movements, and the Catholic Worker Movement. Students will be encouraged to reflect on, discuss, and write about their own sources of inspiration and their own power to change the society and world in which they live. Completion of US History is a prerequisite.
Human Rights & The History of Genocide in the Modern World Grade 11 – 12 0.5 Credit INTERDISCIPLINARY
The purpose of this interdisciplinary semester elective course is to equip students with the content and skills to explore the foundations of human rights in civil society, and as espoused by religious traditions, alongside the causes and effects of modern-era genocides. This course is interdisciplinary in nature because it includes the exploration of faith and religion as a source of the inviolable dignity of the human person and our “unalienable rights.” Particular attention is given to the economic, political, social, and religious aspects of genocide. Social justice implications will be a theme throughout the course. Examples of the genocides studied include: the German Holocaust (1930s-40s), Rwandan (1996-7), Armenian (1914-1923), Cambodian (1975-79), Darfur (2003-present), Bosnian (1995), West/East Punjab (1947-49).