SOCIAL STUDIES

The mission of the Social Studies Department is to help students learn to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. History forms the core of the program offered by the department, but the central discipline is expanded and supported by insights and strategies drawn from geography, political science, economics, sociology and anthropology. Instruction includes chronology, cause-effect reasoning, exercises in geographical literacy, information gathering, processing skills, strategies for effective communication, and ethical decision making. To meet New Jersey and district graduation requirements, students must successfully complete two years of United States History and the World History/Cultures course. Electives may be chosen in the senior year. Students may choose electives in their junior year in addition to the required World History & Cultures course. Students, particularly those interested in pursuing studies in the humanities, are strongly encouraged to elect an additional year of social studies. Courses that permit in-depth investigation of the traditions of our own and various other world cultures, as well as those that provide an introduction to human behavior, add a valuable dimension to any student’s education.

REQUIRED COURSES AND SEQUENCE
US History I--9th grade
US History II or AP US History--10th grade
World History & Cultures or AP World History-- 11th grade


UNITED STATES HISTORY I: H44010

Grade: 9
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: None

This required course traces the history of the United States from the arrival of the first Americans through the end of the 19th Century. It introduces the themes of balance between unity and diversity, the shaping of democracy, the search for opportunity, and the influence of geographical factors. It also examines European, Native American, and African interaction in Colonial America, the Revolution, the New Nation, the Constitution, the War of 1812, the development of democracy, the West, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Industrialization.


UNITED STATES HISTORY II: H44020

Grade: 10
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: U.S. History I

This required course continues coverage of the themes of U.S. History into the 21st Century, including units on U. S. Imperialism, the First World War, the 1920’s, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, and American political and social events up to the present time.


AP UNITED STATES HISTORY: H44021

Grades: 10-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: B+ in social studies courses

This demanding course is divided into nine units of study of American history from the Colonial period to the present. Students are expected to complete regular reading assignments in a college-level text, a book of primary source documents, and a collection of American biographical essays. Homework will average one hour per night. Students are evaluated by means of quizzes, unit tests, essays modeled on the Advanced Placement exam format, and projects.


AP GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS: H44031

Grades: 11-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: B+ in social studies courses

This demanding course consists of an in depth study of the workings of the American political system followed by a comparative analysis with the political systems of five other nations. Two college-level texts are used, and students should expect to complete regular, focused reading assignments. Additionally, the course will require long-term assignments and discussion of relevant contemporary events. Evaluation will be based on projects, marking period tests, and essays modeled on the Advanced Placement examination format. This course does not satisfy the United States History II requirement.


WORLD HISTORY & CULTURES: H44040

Grade: 11
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: U.S. History I and U.S. History II or AP U.S. History.

This required course asks students to examine major civilizations, with the emphasis on the era from 1450 A.D. to the present. The course devotes particular attention to key political, economic, and cultural traditions and ideas, including the interactions between different civilizations.


AP WORLD HISTORY & CULTURES: H44041

Grade: 11
5.0 Credits 
Year
Prerequisites: B+ in social studies courses

Students in the Advanced Placement World History course will study the evolution of human societies as they interact and change over time. Student understanding will be advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course will focus primarily on the last 1,000 years of the global experience, but it will include a foundations section that identifies more longstanding influences on world history. Themes of the course will include the impact of interaction among major societies, the relationship between change and continuity, the effects of technology and demography, comparisons of social and political structures and gender structures, and the effects of cultural and intellectual developments. The course will be global in its focus, with no particular emphasis on one part of the world over another. The course extends to the present. This course fulfills the state requirement for one year of World History.


AP EUROPEAN HISTORY: H44050

Grades: 11-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: B+ in social studies courses

This demanding course consists of a broad study of European History beginning with the Renaissance and extending to the present. College level texts are used, and the student should expect to complete regular, focused reading assignments. Additionally, the course requires the writing of expository essays and research reports. Evaluation is based on tests, essays modeled on the Advanced Placement examination format, and projects/presentations. This course does not satisfy the World History/Cultures requirement.


AFRICA: H42051

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

In this course, students study the vast, diverse continent of Africa - its regions, nations, and people. Students address issues related to political change, economic development, cultural diversity and national unity, and international relations. Particular attention is paid to the influence of history and geography.


LATIN AMERICA: H42052

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

This course provides for study of Latin America and the Caribbean from a variety of perspectives. Special emphasis is placed on geography, literature, economics, and lifestyles. Four countries are singled out for in-depth study. Students are required to do a major term paper on the country of their choice.


MIDDLE EAST: H42053

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

The focus of this class is review of the Middle East, with specific attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to U.S. foreign policy. Emphasis is placed on the historic and religious backgrounds of Muslims and Jews, the role of the West, the influence of oil, and the cultural diversity of the region. For 2017-2018, Seniors will have a P/F Option for the Final Grade for the course.


RUSSIA: H42054

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

In this course, the causes and implications of recent changes in the lands of the former Soviet Union are investigated. By the time students complete this course, they are able to identify and explain key events and issues in the modern history of these fifteen nations and discuss reasonable scenarios for the future.


EAST ASIAN STUDIES: H52055

Grades: 10-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: Proficiency in Mandarin, Japanese, or Korean or Instructor/Supervisor approval

This seminar course will offer a survey of the history, art, literature, political and economic aspects of the East Asia region comprising China, Japan, and Korea. The teacher and students will use primary sources both in the original language and translated to English to investigate the history of the region and its present day role in the world. The use of technology, from researching examples of art to finding current articles, will be integral to the course.


HUMAN BEHAVIOR: H44056

Grades: 11-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisite: None

Human Behavior, as an elective course open to juniors and seniors, is an introduction to key concepts, theories, and figures in the fields of psychology and sociology. The course is designed as an exploration of the self and the human condition. Through case studies, conversation and debate, research, and written work students explore topics ranging from human development theories to recent research findings on the brain, to group dynamics, multiculturalism, and social stratification. Quarterly and group projects bring the opportunity to refine research skills and synthesize what has been learned.


ACCELERATED SOCIOLOGY: H44058

Grades: 11-12
5.0 Credits
Year
Prerequisites: B+ in social studies courses

Sociology focuses on the systematic understanding of social interaction, social organization, social institutions, and social change. Major themes in sociological thinking include the interplay between the individual and society, how society is both stable and changing, the causes and consequences of social inequality, and the social construction of human life. Understanding sociology helps students discover and explain social patterns and see how such patterns change over time and in different settings. By making vivid the social basis of everyday life, sociology also develops critical thinking by revealing the social structures and processes that shape diverse forms of human life.


CONTEMPORARY CRISES AND CURRENT EVENTS: H44059

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

This semester elective course is designed to make students more aware of the myriad of problems and issues facing both the United States and the larger global community. The curriculum will have a basic structure centered on existing problems, issues, and “hot spots” around the world – including the historical and cultural roots that have shaped these contemporary situations. Yet, the class will also spend significant time analyzing and discussing events as they develop on a weekly and even daily basis. Special attention will be given to the media in terms of bias, changing platforms for information, and the ways in which it shapes public discourse and national and global events.


WORLD RELIGIONS: H44060

Grades: 11-12
2.5 Credits
Sem
Prerequisite: None

This semester elective for upperclassmen will examine various religious traditions around the world and within the United States and will focus on the history and major tenets of each faith. Students will also analyze various historical and contemporary instances of religious conflict (both violent and non-violent) as well as the controversies shaped by religious thought. Particular attention will be given to the ways in which religious differences and the misunderstanding of “the other” have catalyzed change and conflict historically and in our contemporary world. In addition, the course will involve a wide variety of written sources – from religious texts to secondary expository selections to contemporary articles to opinion pieces.