History and Social Studies

 

Courses & Descriptions 

HS 13: Global & U.S. Citizenship

AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
Half of the freshman year history program, this one-semester course focuses on the U.S. Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. A core textbook, novels, movies and current events will illuminate these themes. Students will engage in a semester-long writing project exploring a public issue of their choosing. (Normally in the 9th grade.)

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP
The other half of the freshman-year history program, this one-semester course uses the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum as a lens to evaluate historical events such as the Holocaust, the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the genocide in Rwanda. Students will explore the political and social developments that permit such tragedies as well as their own values as citizens of the world. Through this course, student will be exposed to geography and non-Western cultures. (Normally in the 9th grade.)

HS 23: AP Modern European History (Advanced Placement: two semesters)

This Advanced Placement course is a study of the social, economic, cultural, intellectual, political, and diplomatic history of modern Europe, and Europe’s place in the history of the world from the fall of Constantinople to the fall of the Berlin wall and the Soviet Union. The course will be taught at a level and rigor equivalent to that required of students in a college freshman or sophomore Modern European History course. Students will develop an understanding of the major periods, ideas, movements, trends, and themes that characterize European history from approximately 1450 (the high Renaissance) to the present. Students develop the ability to analyze historical evidence and express understanding and analysis in writing. The course will prepare students for the College Board Advanced Placement examination in European History. Juniors and seniors are eligible for this course with permission of the History Department. Students are required to take the A.P. exam.

HS 25A: History of the Ancient World (two semesters)

This course takes a comparative approach to studying the great civilizations from the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia and the Americas, beginning with Mesopotamia and concluding with the fall of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages.  Important themes common to all cultures will include the development of government and bureaucracies, trade and commerce, and art and architecture. The evolution of philosophy and religions will also be a major theme throughout the course as students will study not only the major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but also will be introduced to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Zoroastrianism.

HS 25M: History of the Modern World (two semesters)

This history course views the forces that ultimately led to a more connected world and the conflicts and advances that resulted. The course opens by looking at the major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam before beginning a chronological journey from the European Renaissance to the rise of the Soviet Union. Key topics will include the developments in science and philosophy, revolutions, exploration, imperialism and both world wars.

HS 27: AP World History (Advanced Placement; two semesters)

The Advanced Placement World History course presents a very detailed account of human history. The course’s main purpose is to develop a greater understanding of the evolution of global social, political, and economic processes by studying the growth and interaction of various human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course emphasizes relevant factual knowledge deployed in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence. The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. The content of this course will prepare you for the College Board Advanced Placement national exam in May that determines eligibility for college credit. Students are required to take the A.P. exam.

HS 31: United States History (two semesters)

This chronological survey focuses on significant political, social, and economic developments in the nation's history. We start with examination of pre-Columbian civilizations and end with President Nixon’s resignation, concentrating on the growth of our diverse population, the evolution of the US political system, the rise of the US economy, cultural change, and interactions with the rest of the world. Students work from primary and secondary sources, write position papers and analytical essays, and research and write a 10-to-15-page thesis. (Prerequisite: two semesters of history; 11th or 12th grades.)

HS 33: AP United States History (Advanced Placement; two semesters)

AP U.S. History students will undertake an intensive study of United States history. The syllabus emphasizes the content required to excel on the AP examination as well as the skills needed to write effective DBQ (document-based question) and free-response essays. Students work with primary source documents and analytical material in examination of the political, economic, constitutional and social history of the United States. Students are required to take the AP exam in May and to write a major research paper at least 15 pages long. (Departmental approval is required; 11th or 12th grades.)

AS 31: American Studies (two semesters; double credit)

What do American literature and history have in common? Both offer a narrative of human lives. This offers a unique opportunity to examine American social, political, cultural, and artistic movements through the perspectives of history and literature. Working within a chronological framework, we will examine American society from European contact through the present. We will focus our analysis on events, movements, groups, and individuals who have shaped and continue to influence American culture. A 10-page research paper is required. This course meets for a double period, and fulfills credits for junior English & United States History. (Prerequisite: 2 semesters of history.)

All remaining History Department courses have the prerequisite of U.S. History, and are generally limited to one section.

HS 37: Post-War America (FALL; half credit)

"From Yalta to Megatrends" - This course will cover the dramatic emergence of the United States following the Second World War, through the impending Cold War, Vietnam, and Watergate. We will also consider America in the '80's under President Reagan and conclude by speculating about the future. A focus of the course will be comparing the 50s to the 60s and discussing which decade best fulfills the ideals that America professes. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 44: African History (SPRING; half credit)

This course will focus on sub-Saharan Africa, examining traditional societies, the impact of colonialism, and recent social, political and economic developments in the post-colonial period. Although emphasizing the diversity within the continent, the course will also provide a basic framework by which to study the region. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 49: Supreme Court, Constitution & Current Issues (FALL; half credit)

This course will investigate the historical background to the framing of the United States Constitution and engage in an in-depth analysis of the document itself. The course will then examine the role of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution and making public policy. Landmark cases like Marbury Madison, Plessey Ferguson, Lochner New York, Brown Board of Education, Sullivan New York and Roe Wade will be examined. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 50: Civil Rights, Civil Liberties & The Constitution (SPRING; half credit)

This course will examine civil liberties and civil rights in the United States through a study of Supreme Court constitutional decisions. A range of topics including, freedom of expression, religious freedom, rights of the criminally accused, right to privacy, the right to keep and bear arms and racial equality will be discussed. The class will demonstrate how political and social forces-not just legal factors-influence the development of the law. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 51: Microeconomics (FALL; half credit)

Concepts in this course will include the behavior of consumers and producers and decisions facing individuals and firms. To illuminate these concepts, students will pursue a traditional introduction to concepts such as the laws of supply and demand, opportunity cost, the marginal principle, the principle of diminishing returns and the principle of voluntary exchange. Additionally, students will consider the evolution of man's economic behavior and the theories that have risen to describe that behavior. Current events will provide opportunities for practical application of course material. Students will be encouraged to use the language and concepts of economics to explore their positions on issues such as the environment, efficiency, income distribution and wealth disparities. Depending on student interest, an independent study may be offered concurrently to expand on this introductory course and prepare students to succeed on the AP Microeconomics examination. Participation in such an independent study would be with permission of the department. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 52: Macroeconomics (SPRING; half-credit)

Concepts in this course will include growth and production, inflation, employment, financial markets, monetary and fiscal policy, aggregate supply and demand, the national and international economy. Concurrently, students will consider the welter of statistics used to describe and predict economic fluctuations. A stock market project and discussion of current events will provide opportunities for practical application of course material. As in the fall, students will be encouraged to use the language and concepts of economics to explore their positions on issues such as the environment, economic growth, income distribution and wealth disparities. (Normally in the 12th grade.)

HS 67: AP Psychology (Advanced Placement; two semesters)

The Advanced Placement course in psychology presents the student with a rigorous examination of the scientific nature of the discipline and the research methodology that directs the study of human and animal behavior and mental processes. Students will also gain an understanding of the ethical considerations that guide psychologists and their practices. In addition to examining the science of psychology and the various theoretical approaches that are used, a major focus will be the subfields that exist within psychology. Some of these areas include the psychology of learning, cognition, developmental psychology, social psychology, personality theory, physiological psychology, psychopathology and diagnosis and treatment of specific disorders. The class will be taught as a college level course and thus expectations will be commensurate with those of students who possess advanced skills in writing and critical thinking. Students are required to take the AP exam in May. (Department approval required; normally in the 12th grade.)
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