Course Catalog » Social Studies Department

Social Studies Department

SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT


Note: An asterisk (*) following the course title indicates the course meets the 

entrance requirements for UC/CSU when passed with a grade of C or better. 


SOCIAL SCIENCES
Prerequisite: None
Grade 9     1 Semester


This course is designed to prepare students to expand their thinking and study skills by introducing them to behavioral and social sciences. This course will touch briefly on the fields of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, History and the roots of modern democracy. Basic study skills are emphasized throughout the course, including note taking from text and lecture, vocabulary extension, reading comprehension, and map reading. The material in this course will enable the student to better appreciate the world’s diverse cultures, as well as prepare the student for advanced course work in social studies.



MODERN WORLD HISTORY *
Prerequisite: None
Grade 9, 10      1 Year


This course is designed to allow students to study major turning points that shaped the modern world from the Enlightenment through the present. Students consider how a modern system of communication and exchange helped form complex networks of relationships between nations and explore how people, goods, ideas, and capital were impacted by technological developments and industrialization, imperial expansion, the growth of nation-states, and the experience of “total war”.  Students consider the conflict between economic and political systems that impacted the post-World War II period and the emergence of new nations and political changes in the present era.  Writing, research and analysis are key components, including a research essay based on a theme addressed in the course.



HONORS MODERN WORLD HISTORY *
Prerequisite: “A” in Social Sciences and “B” or better in Honors English 9 or an “A” in English 9 and departmental approval.
Grade 9, 10      1 Year


This course is designed to allow students to study major turning points that shaped the modern world from the Enlightenment through the present. Students consider how a modern system of communication and exchange helped form complex networks of relationships between nations explore how people, goods, ideas, and capital were impacted by technological developments and industrialization, imperial expansion, the growth of nation-states, and the experience of “total war”.  Students consider the conflict between economic and political systems that impacted the post-World War II period and the emergence of new nations and political changes in the present era.  Writing, research and analysis are key components, including a research essay based on a theme addressed in the course.  Strong emphasis is placed on the evaluation, interpretation and use of historical evidence through documents and primary sources, as well as analytical writing incorporating that evidence.



UNITED STATES HISTORY *
Prerequisite: None
Grade 11      1 Year


Students in United States History analyze the identity, diversity and culture of the American experience, linking America’s past to the present. Exploring the democracy and free enterprise of the United States, 

students critically view the character of America and Americans. Major topics include:  the national

embodiment of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; tensions between the individual and the state; 

extension of equal rights; expansion of the American way of life; surviving and thriving in a global economy; and the United States’ role in the world. Assessment of historical materials -- including persuasive writing and at least one research paper -- underscores fundamental elements of the course: the ability to weigh evidence, interpret logically and argue persuasively. Coursework strives to motivate students to be active and responsible citizens, voters, taxpayers -- stewards of the American experience.


ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY *
Prerequisite: “B” or better in Honors World History and Honors British Literature, or “A” in World History and British Literature; plus departmental approval. Students will be required to complete a significant summer assignment 

assessed immediately at the beginning of the school year.

Grade 11      1 Year


Advanced Placement United States History provides an intellectual journey through America’s past, examining pathways to the present. Students analyze the history and development of the nation, paying particular attention to the American experience in terms of democracy and free enterprise. AP U.S. History students explore America’s identity, diversity and culture while balancing factual knowledge with critical analysis. Equivalent to a college introductory course, AP U.S. History requires rigorous effort. Assessment of historical materials--including self-guided research--underscores fundamental elements of the course: the ability to weigh evidence, interpret logically and argue persuasively. Coursework stresses persuasive essay writing and prepares students to take the AP U.S. History examination offered by the College Board. Passing grades on the exam afford students college credit, the amount of credit varying with each university. All students enrolled in AP U.S. History are required to take the AP U.S. History examination in May. 



ECONOMICS *
Prerequisite: None
Grade 12      1 Semester


This course is an introduction to fundamental economic concepts, such as scarcity and choice and supply and demand. Students will compare and contrast economic systems throughout the industrialized and developing world, explore the functions of money, causes and consequences of financial crises, the workings of financial markets, and business cycles, paying particular attention to recent economic events. 

 

U.S. GOVERNMENT *
Prerequisite: None
Grade 12      1 Semester


Students will explore the structure and workings of American Government, exploring the key features of democracy in the United States that set it apart from other nations and government systems. Students will compare the government as designed by the Founding Fathers and expressed through the original Constitution with the functions of different institutions in the United States today, such as financing campaigns, interest groups, and elections. Students will also analyze the relationship between the federal government and state governments and among the different branches of federal government. Finally, students will consider the changing demographics of the electorate and its effect on public policy in the 21st century.



ADVANCED PLACEMENT U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS/ECONOMICS *

Prerequisite: “B” or better in Advanced Placement United States History or “A” in U.S.  History and departmental approval. Because of curriculum time restraints, students in this class will be asked to complete a summer assignment including reading and written work, due at the beginning of the school year.

Grade 12      1 Semester


This course will critically explore the structure and function of the United States government: political beliefs and behaviors, federalism, the Constitution and founding principles of government, political parties, interest groups, elections, the media, the three branches of government, civil right and civil liberties, and the public policy process. All students enrolled in the course are required to take the Advanced Placement American Government examination. 



PSYCHOLOGY*
Prerequisite: None
Grade 10, 11, 12      1 Semester


This course is designed as an introduction to psychology, its themes, definitions, leading figures, and theories. Among the topics studied are human development from infancy to adulthood, learning and thinking processes, and human behavior. This course will cover the topic of social as well as personal growth and development.



SOCIOLOGY *

Prerequisite: None
Grade 10, 11, 12 1 Semester


This is a course in the sociological field of the social sciences that provides students with an opportunity to study the development, structure, and function of human collective behavior. The course will cover society and culture, social organization and structure, social institutions, social change, collective behavior, and social problems. Emphasis will be placed on the application of sociological concepts to current problems in our modern world.