History / Social Studies

World History (H, A, CP)

Grade: 9

Year Credits: 5 – Required course for graduation

Prerequisite: None

World History is an international chronological and thematic study of cultural, economic, social, political, and environmental interactions. The focus is in answering, “How did the rise of the Western World, starting in the mid-14th century, impact the relationships, connections, and development of the global community?”. Major units of study include the Renaissance/Reformation, Exploration/Colonization, the Age of Revolutions, Nationalism movements, and the World Wars/Cold War, culminating in the present day era of globalization. Students examine developments in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and The United States. Through the study of the content, students will focus on Historical Thinking Skills and authentic learning/assessments aligned to NJCCCS and the Literacy in History/Social Studies Common Core Standards. Students will become independent learners through analyzing primary and secondary sources, developing writing skills through essays and research, actively participating in class discussions, and interpreting and synthesizing continuity and change over time based on the events and ideas of the course. For all levels, the subject matter is essentially the same, with the approach, selection of materials, and expectations varying. Honors students often find the course demands challenging.

 

US History I (H, A, CP)

Grade: 10

Year Credits: 5 – Required course for graduation

Prerequisite: World History

US History I is a comprehensive study of the development of American social, political, cultural, and economic institutions and events from pre-1491 to 1900. The focus is on answering, “What is an American?” through the study of Native Americans before the Age of Discovery, Exploration, Colonialism, the Revolutionary War, the Constitution, Federalist/Republican policies, Jacksonian Democracy, roots of Sectional Conflict, developments in the 19th Century including the Industrial Revolution, Civil War and Reconstruction, ending in late 19th Century Western Expansion.  Through the study of the content, students will focus on Historical Thinking Skills and authentic learning/assessments aligned to NJCCCS and the Literacy in History/Social Studies Common Core Standards. Students will become independent learners through analyzing primary and secondary sources, developing writing skills through essays and research, actively participating in class discussions, and interpreting and synthesizing continuity and change over time based on the events and ideas of the course. For all levels, the subject matter is essentially the same, with the approach, selection of materials, and expectations varying. Advanced Placement students often find the course demands challenging. This is the first part of a two-year course sequence.

 

US History 2 (AP, A, CP)

Grade: 11-12

Year credits: 5 – Required for Graduation

Prerequisite: US History 1

US History 2 analyzes the diverse forces that helped to shape American history from the Gilded Age through the present. The focus is on answering, “How has America’s role as an international force impacted internal development?” through the examination of political, economic, social and cultural forces. Students explore the Populist/Progressive Era, the two World Wars, the Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, the Cold War and social changes of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Vietnam, the Watergate Era leading into the 1980’s conservatism and post-Cold War era, culminating in the events of the 1990’s through the 21st Century. Through the study of the content, students will focus on Historical Thinking Skills and authentic learning/assessments aligned to NJCCCS and the Literacy in History/Social Studies Common Core Standards. Students will become independent learners through analyzing primary and secondary sources, developing writing skills through essays and research, actively participating in class discussions, and interpreting and synthesizing continuity and change over time based on the events and ideas of the course. For all levels, the subject matter is essentially the same, with the approach, selection of materials, and expectations varying. Advanced Placement students often find the course demands challenging. This is the second part of a two-year course sequence.

Current Issues In American History

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12 – Semester; Prerequisite: None

Current Issues in American History examines contemporary issues within an historical perspective, focusing on the Historical Thinking Skills of continuity and change over time. Through discussion/oral presentations, writing, reading and analysis of primary sources, newspapers, and multi-media sources, students will study issues of human rights and international relations, and will understand the social, political, cultural, and economic developments of the United States. Common Core Standards will complement HTS to help students develop critical thinking and to participate in authentic learning experiences. Overarching themes will allow students to think in a conceptual manner, compare and contrast, interpret, and synthesize patterns of historical phenomena.

Facing History and Ourselves

Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12 – Semester: Prerequisite: None

Facing History and Ourselves addresses issues of tolerance, character education, emotional intelligences, discrimination, anti-bullying, stereotyping, and multiculturalism in society, emphasizing the concept of being an upstander. Students discuss celebrating diversity, countering biases, and teaching respect for others by promoting awareness of the active role every individual can have in promoting acceptance of others. Utilizing resources from Facing History and Ourselves among other supplementals, students engage in active class discussions, learn new concepts valuable for being integral and honorable members of society, and express themselves orally and through writing/projects to encourage them to become leaders in fostering moral behavior. Students often participate in visitations to sending districts to spread awareness through both large assemblies and classroom lessons.

Sociology

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Sociology involves the study of group behavior as the students examine society’s influence on the individual and individuals influence on society. Topics include change and continuity of society’s values over time, counter-cultural groups, learning the process of survey writing and data analysis, issues of identity, race, gender, and age. Active class participation, critical thinking, analysis of readings and multi-media sources requires students to become both independent learners and contribute to collaborative learning experiences. Interdisciplinary activities provides opportunities for synthesis and authentic learning.

Twentieth Century in Historic Film

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 – Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Twentieth Century in Historic Film uses the media to examine the continuity and change over time of society’s mores and values from the beginning of the motion picture through the present day, including The Manchurian Candidate, Birth of a Nation, and others. Through the viewing of films, students reflect on the historical times and decades that produced them and determine accepted notions and points of view during the era the film was written. Students will identify periodization and turning points in society’s perspectives and will contextualize events in history to what was happening elsewhere at the same time. Students will be involved with discussions, class assignments, collaborative and independent learning, and projects.

Economics

Grades 10, 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Economics provides students with the study of a foundation of basic economic concepts for students to understand economic ideas and principles both for everyday life and for examining major economic systems in the world. Using a student-centered approach, students are introduced to concepts of supply and demand, prices and competition, and money and banking. Active class participation, analysis of readings, and writing and graphing skills are incorporated as students engage in both independent and group research projects.

Native American History

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Native American History examines the role of Native Americans in United States history with a focus from the 19th century to the present. Students will explore topics such as Indian Removal, the struggle of the Black Hills, Indian education, and the role of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II. Modern day issues related to Native American identities, reservation life, and mascot controversies will be explored. Students will engage in primary source reading analysis, independent and collaborative projects, and class discussions. When possible, speakers will be invited to share their experiences with the students. Active citizenship standards of the NJCCCS are emphasized as students explore issues of tolerance and identity, critically thinking about contextualization and determining concepts of continuity and change over time.

Twentieth Century Dictators

Grades 10, 11, 12: Semester 2.5 credits: Prerequisite: World History

Twentieth Century Dictators will examine the rise of dictators in the last half of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century. Post World War II with the reigns of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini, as well as study of dictators from Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, including Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein, will allow students to focus on the cultures of specific regions, how and why these individuals gained power, and the support and opposition each faced. Fascist and totalitarian governments and the struggle for democracy will be analyzed through class discussions, primary and secondary source readings, and projects, with a focus on historical causation and periodization will allow students to synthesize and draw conclusions about the ability of individuals to dominate governments in the countries and times being studied.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Grades: 10, 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: World History

Holocaust and Genocide Studies is divided into two parts; the first part focuses on the Jewish Holocaust of World War II, in which the class will discuss the history of anti-Semitism, the Nazi rise to power, the events of World War II, those who put their lives on the line to help protect Jews from the Nazis, and the aftermath of the Holocaust. The second part of the course will focus in-depth studies of other genocides, such as The Armenian Genocide, Rwanda, Japanese war crimes, Cambodia killing fields, The Ukrainian Genocide, and Bosnia. Students will examine current issues concerning crimes against humanity, such as Darfur, and how they, as individuals and through human rights organizations, can be active citizens in order to help achieve peaceful solutions to violent conflict. Students analyze how and why genocides have occurred through class discussions, writing papers, and reading primary and secondary excerpts and accounts of these events.

 

Human Behavior

Grades 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Human Behavior examines theories of human behavior and nature, looking at psychological thought, societal issues, and human interpersonal relationships. Starting with biological background of the brain, students learn about ideas of memory, sensory learning, emotional and intellectual development, personality, and abnormal psychology, among other ideas. Using a student-centered approach, the class engages in discussion, in-class experiments, project based learning, and authentic experiences in the field of psychology. The course provides an overview of individual motivations, contemporary issues, and human relations through case studies and use of expert ideas on human behavior.

Holocaust and Genocide Studies H

Grades 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: World History

Holocaust and Genocide Studies Honors (see subject description under Holocaust and Genocide Studies) offers students the possibility of acquiring college credits accepted by most US colleges. The depth and expectations of the course are greater than the regular elective section, involving more writing, deeper analysis and independent learning, and more outside readings and projects. Visits to museums, including the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC allows students to view exhibits and issues that are an integral aspect of the class.

AP Psychology

Grades 11, 12: Year Credits 5: Prerequisite: Biology and World History

AP Psychology (see subject description under Psychology) requires students to thoroughly analyze daily supplemental readings and the college-level textbook prior to attending class. Using a student-centered approach, students will be involved in experiments, interpreting complex concepts of human nature, writing, and independent and group projects and research. Active class participation is an integral aspect of the class and students will need to be able to construct and support arguments related to the subject matter.

AP Economics

Grades 11, 12: Year Credits 5: Prerequisite: None

AP Economics is a comprehensive course covering both macro- and micro- economics. Topics include markets, prices, national income, economic performance, inflation, unemployment, economic growth and productivity, and international trade and finance. As an introduction to both Macro and Micro Economics, students will be preparing for the AP test in May. Students will be expected to be able to use math and graphing skills as well as other critical thinking skills necessary to see relationships between economic concepts and to be able to interpret trends and issues. This is a demanding course that challenges the students through college-level readings and project assignments.

Constitutional Law H

Grades 11, 12: Semester Credits 2.5: Prerequisite: None

Constitutional Law H provides students who have an interest in the law with an understanding of the court system and the workings of the Supreme Court and its decisions. Students study landmark cases, analyzing and discussing how the court system has helped define and interpret the US Constitution. Students have the opportunity to see the progression of democracy through the ideas, principles, and actions of the Supreme Court as it decides upon American rights and governmental actions and functions. During the second part of the course, students engage in a mock court in which they enact a court case based on an issue currently being considered by the Supreme Court. This course is intended to refine students’ critical thinking and analytical skills through class participation, oral presentations, research and expository writing, and drawing conclusions about issues as they analyze and break down legal briefs.

AP US Government and Politics

Grades 11, 12: Year Credits 5: Prerequisite: World History

AP US Government and Politics focuses on the legal underpinnings of the Constitution, the framework of the federal government, including the three branches, ideology, participation, campaigns and elections, political parties, interest groups, civil liberties and rights, bureaucracy, and media and politics. Current public policy paradigms are studied through current issues and case studies. Students will learn to analyze data and perspectives through the lenses of this social science – to understand how and why political behavior develops and changes over time. Students will be prepared to take the AP test in May through their work with college level texts and supplemental readings, analytical writing, and class participation and projects. Students will gain authentic learning experiences through simulations and conducting mock elections, and will use multi-media sources to help with research and learning.

AP Human Geography

Grades 11, 12: Year Credits 5: Prerequisite: World History

AP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Topics addressed include population, culture, political geography, economic development, rural and urban geography, and ecology. Students will be involved with readings and daily homework assignments, research and writing papers, as well as projects that will allow them to gain authentic learning experiences. Field work experience may be possible.

 
 

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