Social Studies

Teachers

  • Don Kaplan (Department Head)
  • Peter Ammirati '82
  • Keson Bullock-Brown
  • Russ Carrick
  • Scott Eckstein P'22 '25
  • John Fisher
  • Martin Smith
  • Tom Wilschutz

Curriculum

Every person needs a sound education in history and the study of society, so our Social Studies courses aim to appeal to and challenge every type of learner. The History Department offers a purposeful sequence of core courses from the 7th through the 12th grades that focuses on the following: an understanding of the cultural, economic, political, and intellectual history of the West and non-West; an understanding of US history; an understanding of US government; and an investigation of ethics and the development of character. We supplement these core offerings with a broad array of electives taught by members of the department and by part-time instructors who teach in an area of their expertise.

We collaborate with students in an inquiry into past and present societies, and we want students to find this inquiry relevant to their own lives. Our classes are organized around seminar style discussions that teach students how to listen to and weigh a broad range of ideas, how to advocate their own positions, and how to engage collegially with students and teachers. In this format, students are not passive receptors of lectures; rather, teachers guide students in a group exploration of contending ideas. In this group exploration, we find that a mix of learners is useful, so students who are geared towards math or science or art have much to offer the group.

对于那些想要在高中和大学追求最高水平学习的学生, our program provides excellent opportunities for advanced work through Honors and AP courses in both our core and elective offerings.

历史系最关心的是学生在我们提供的各种课程中表现出能力. “Competency” in this context means developing a knowledge base, but at least as important is the way students critically think about the content. Toward this end, our courses focus on teaching the following:

  • Critical thinking: We teach students to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate a variety of information sources — and to recognize motive and bias.
  • An appreciation of perspective: 学生们面临的挑战是从不同的角度分析历史和社会问题, such as those perspectives shaped by race, gender, class, and culture. Students are also expected to interrogate how their own perspective influences their understanding of the world.
  • Research method: Our program builds research skills that are age appropriate, and our graduates are prepared for the research expectations of their college courses.
  • An exposure to technology: 我们的学生经常使用一系列(不断变化的)学习和交流技术.
  • Public speaking: 许多非正式和低风险的机会提供给学生练习公开演讲, and such opportunities help students succeed in formal public speaking situations.
  • Writing: Our courses tend to be writing intensive; we teach various types of writing (from essay to research writing), and we push students to write clearly and cogently.
  • Communication and assessment: We want students to learn a variety of ways to communicate what they’ve learned, and we use a variety of methods to assess their understanding of material, including the following: in-class discussion; public speaking and various types of presentations; group projects; research writing; essay writing; various types of tests and quizzes; debate; journal writing; interviews; postings on web interfaces; and various types of audio-visual productions.

Twelve credits in Social Studies are required. Six credits must be in United States History. 剩下的六个学分可以来自其他全年课程或三个学期课程的组合. Virtually every student elects to take at least 18 credits (3 full years), and many students take more than 24 credits (4 full years).


 

YEARLONG COURSES

World History—From Chaos to Order: In World History we will examine major events, individuals, and innovations that have created and shaped the world we live in today. By applying the frame of “revolution,” we will work to expose and understand what propels humans to make or accept change(s). We will also take time to connect historical events to current ones, thus working to appreciate how history is not simply a foregone conclusion but rather one choice made from a series of options. Admittedly, due to the nature of the course and the breadth and depth we hope to achieve, we will not be able to cover everything from the past to the present. Students will, however, 努力掌握必要的历史技能,以深入研究建筑的起源, values, traditions, and conflicts that have shaped our world. They will read from primary and secondary sources in order to compare and contrast the development of various societies, movements, and phenomena. Over the course of the year, students will work to develop and enhance their reading, writing, analytical, and research skills, and complete several group and individual projects. 仔细准备阅读材料和注意写作细节是成功的必要条件. Each student is expected to complete all assigned work on time and contribute consistently and with enthusiasm to class discussions and group activities. Recommended for 9th grade. Global, 6 credits 

Honors World History: How We Got to Now: From the deep past to today, people have been forced to solve certain social problems, such as: food production and storage; protection against aggressors; provision of shelter from the elements; and the creation and maintenance of social, ideological, and spiritual orders. In meeting these challenges, people’s responses depended, to varying degrees, on their environments and cultures (and sometimes luck!). They developed different civilizations over time, and, as those civilizations became more sophisticated, they began to interact more with other civilizations – through trade, war, conquest, technological and cultural borrowing, etc. In World History, we begin with the principal cultural hearths, as it were, and trace world history through time, from the cradles of civilization to the forces, conflicts, 以及导致现代全球相互依存的合作. In this course, students will learn to think openly and critically about what they read, to identify and express empathy with different historical perspectives, to mount a historical argument, and to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Recommended for 9th grade. Global 6 credits

Ethics 10 and Honors Ethics 10: We are all endowed with the power to lead ourselves, to support our families, and to engage meaningfully in our social and political worlds. This fact is particularly relevant to sophomores, who stand on the threshold of forging a path in the upper school and beyond. 为了让学生对他们现在和未来的社区做出积极的贡献, it is essential that they appreciate the ethical weight of their lives. Our intention is not to provide answers; rather, we encourage students to engage in deliberate inquiry and reflection—often the precursor to healthy decision making—that we hope becomes a lifelong habit. In creating this seminar style class, instructors draw content from world history, philosophy, and the social sciences; we introduce students to deep study in these fields and we hope to inspire further study in all of them. We believe that students benefit enormously from study in Ethics, so we designed this full year course to be taken by all sophomores; as such, it reinforces the habits of thought introduced in the 9th grade World History course and prepares students for the advanced work that they will undertake in their junior and senior years. Recommended for tenth grade. Global 6 credits 

United States History: This course examines the social, economic, political, and cultural forces that have influenced the development of the United States. Particular attention is paid to historiographical questions about objectivity, reliability of evidence and sources, and the selection and interpretation of data. A further aim of the course is to build students' skills in research, argumentation, debate, and the presentation of information. Intended for juniors, except for students in American Studies or AP. Required, 6 credits 

American Studies (Honors United States History): This two-period course combines Honors American Literature with Honors U.S. History. By focusing on the economic, social, and political connections between the literature and the history, we seek to integrate the two disciplines. 作为一部深入探索美国历史和发展的独特的美国文学, this course attempts to replicate an introductory college experience in terms of pace, volume, and complexity of the material. In the course, we embed the works of the major American writers (Irving, Cooper, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and Ginsberg to name a few) in U.S. historical context, drawing connections between literary and historical developments. A variety of historical texts will be employed, including primary sources, statistical compilations, and secondary sources. Enrollment is limited. This course includes a mandatory summer reading assignment. 前提条件:老师推荐,10年级英语和历史成绩达到B+或以上. Honors. 12 credits (6 for Social Studies, 6 for English) 

AP United States History: This year-long course explores U.S. history from the pre-Columbian period into the 21st century. It will follow the trajectories of both colonizer and colonized, and will examine the often messy process of nation building, and America's transformation from a colonial backwater spawned by European nation-states in the 16th and 17th centuries to a great world power by the early 20th century. In so doing, the difficult process by which the country’s promise of freedom and equality was extended to more and more groups over time will also be detailed and analyzed. 学生将面临发展和运用历史推理和批判性思维技能的挑战, and to express themselves clearly and confidently both verbally and in writing. This course is discussion-based, and is designed to emulate the pace and academic rigor of a college-level course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP exam in early May. 前提条件:老师推荐,10年级英语和历史成绩达到B+或以上. AP. 6 credits 

AP European History: 欧洲——或者说欧亚大陆的最西端——在过去的几千年里经历了起起落落. 这里曾经是与古希腊和古罗马有关的辉煌的创造性文明的发源地, Europe lost momentum for hundreds of years after the fall of the latter, and only slowly regained it. Beginning in the late 15th century, however, 欧洲开始再次崛起,到18世纪末,欧洲在经济上主宰了世界, politically, and militarily, and, in so doing, became the site of cultural expressions of true brilliance. 尽管欧洲在二十世纪的两次可怕的战争中遭受了许多自己造成的创伤, most notably—it is still powerful in geopolitical terms and remains the epicenter of what we call Western Civilization.This course will detail and analyze the story of Europe’s history over the past five hundred years— including the challenges it faces today. This story is as complex and varied as it is important, incorporating the rise of capitalism, protracted religious conflicts, fierce battles over ideas and ideologies, industrialization, urbanization, massive political changes, and magnificent artistic movements, as well as less savory developments such as colonialism and imperialism. What we now know as the “modern world”—both its glories and its enormities—is in large part an outgrowth and legacy of Europe’s will to power, making this course vital for understanding the world we live in today. This is a discussion-based course, and will require critical thinking, and an understanding of historical perspective and causality. The pace and rigor will emulate that of a college-level course. Intended for 11th or 12th graders. Prerequisites: completion of intensive summer assignment, a B+ or better in 11th grade history, and a demonstrated capacity for independent work. AP. 6 credits 

AP Government and Politics: 本课程让学生全面了解美国政治制度的各个方面. Students examine the constitutional underpinnings of our system, the official branches of government, and the "linkage institutions," such as political parties and interest groups, that connect the people to policy-makers. 学生将负责熟悉联邦制等主题, selective incorporation, and budgetary procedure, and are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May. Prerequisites: completion of intensive summer assignment, a B+ or better in 11th grade history, and a demonstrated capacity for independent work. AP. 6 credits 

Healthy Relationships: Mental health and healthy human sexuality begin with healthy relationships, and healthy relationships begin with communication. This course begins with the assumption that access to the information necessary to develop healthy intimate relationships and make informed decisions about one’s body is a basic human right. The goal of this class is to provide students with accurate information, but also to help them respect and advocate for themselves while at the same time listening to and respecting others, whether peers, partners, or parents. In this trimester class, students will be provided with information about human sexuality, gender identities, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and reproductive systems, but in discussions and activities, they will also be encouraged to communicate their own values and preferences. 本课程符合卫生专业毕业要求,为10年级学生开设, 11th, or 12th grade. 1 credit per trimester—offered Fall and Spring terms. 

Honors Anthropology: This course offers students the opportunity to deepen their exploration of anthropology. Students who are planning on taking all three anthropology electives will have supplemental readings and small discussion groups to enhance their study of human culture, language, and the archaeological record. 一个基于个人兴趣的期末项目将是他们一年人类学工作的顶点. Prerequisites: Recommendation of teacher and a B+ or better in 11th grade History. Honors. Global. 6 credits. 

 

FALL TRIMESTER COURSES

The Art of Thoughtful Listening —An Agent of Social Change: This course, open to juniors and seniors, is designed to empower and support students in their efforts toward building strong human relationships based in deep mutual respect and alliances. What a revolutionary thought! This is particularly true when we consider that all our relationships happen in the context of an often oppressive society at large, and that we have a diversity of life experiences. Class activities include: storytelling, games/ play, discussions, some short readings, and of course some practice of “thoughtful listening.” Grading is based on full participation and attendance. 1 credit

Creative Nonfiction: Some of the most powerful, thoughtful, and culturally significant writing is found in the essays of writers like Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace, and others who are published under the genre “creative nonfiction.” To engage with this historical, observational, and experimental writing form, students will read and analyze essays, produce original content, and give meaningful feedback to one another. 在这门课程中培养的习惯和技能对那些对新闻感兴趣的人很有用, cultural studies, and creative writing. This class may also be taken for English credit. Honors, 2 credits. 

Cultural Anthropology: This course presents a comparative study of cultures and human societies and allows an opportunity to understand human diversity throughout the world. Students will explore how various peoples use socially learned traditions, religion, politics, kinship, language, gender roles, and much more to structure their lives. Throughout the class students will broaden their understanding of different cultures and will learn new analytical tools to better understand cultural difference, contemporary global change, and social organization. 学生将被要求通过课堂参与来展示他们对材料的理解, guided fieldwork projects, and individual and group assignments. This class fulfills a global studies program credit. Global. 2 credits 

Existential Philosophy: The purpose of this class is to: 1) introduce students to a selection of existentialist philosophers including: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus; 2) analyze selected philosophical concepts including “freedom”, “authenticity”, “anxiety”, “finitude”, “The Absurd”, and “Super-Consciousness”; 3) encourage students to use the knowledge, 在课堂上获得的技能和理解,以启动个人生活哲学的发展. Students are evaluated on the quality and quantity of their participation in group and class discussions; on journal writing; on their individual and group presentations; and on a final extensive reflective essay and/or multiple intelligence project. Global. 2 credits 

Fighting “Fake News”: The term “fake news” has come to mean everything from deliberately fabricated disinformation to stories that are merely uncomfortable for the subject in question. How did we get here? This elective attempts to answer this question, 首先看看我们自己的偏见是如何影响我们对所消费媒体的判断的, and how certain media outlets exploit those biases. We then attempt to determine for ourselves what makes for authentic journalism, and examine how technology and corporate forces have made such journalism (particularly local and print journalism) struggle. With a deeper understanding of psychology and the media ecosystem, those who finish this course will be able spot, and defend against, all manner of media manipulation. This class may also be taken for English credit. 2 credits 

Honors Economics: Theory & Reality: The purpose of this class is for students to examine traditional economic theory and to compare that theory against real world outcomes. As they grapple with the material, students are encouraged to develop their critical awareness and deepen their understanding of the meaning of a “successful economy” from a variety of perspectives. The overt and covert, 媒体在经济决策过程中发挥的微妙而直接的影响被深入研究. Particular attention will be paid to the issues of: the nature and extent of our freedom of choice; equity, efficiency and environment; and the interrelationship between the market and democracy. Students are evaluated in the following ways: on the quality and quantity of their participation in group and class discussions; on journal writing; on their individual and group presentations; and on a final extensive reflective essay and/or multiple intelligence project. Honors, 2 credits 

Teach2Serve: Developing Capstone: Students planning to continue for a second year of Teach2Serve will need to complete a summer internship or volunteer experience and write up a project proposal in the fall. In the winter trimester, 学生们将开始每周见面两次,作为一个队列,并与导师一对一地进行构思, plan, develop and implement a capstone project, 哪个是学生提出的社会或环境问题的解决方案. Students start by listening to those in the affected community, educating themselves, educating others, and defining their goals. They will develop and practice an elevator pitch so they can succinctly communicate what they hope to accomplish with their project. Next, they will write a vision and mission statement; a project proposal in which they identify their goals, assets, logistics, marketing plan, recruiting plan, and governance; a preliminary budget; a fundraising proposal; and a self-evaluation. The focus of this student-directed program is on learning by doing. Open to students accepted from the Teach2Serve program only. 2 credits 

 

WINTER TRIMESTER COURSES

Honors Thesis: 本课程将提供学生研究和撰写延伸论文的经验. The topic chosen can be anything from history, the social sciences, or the humanities, and should be a topic with which the student is already familiar. Students will be supported through the process of choosing a topic, researching, development of a thesis, writing, and the final oral interview. Honors, 2 credits 

Linguistic Anthropology: This course will introduce students to linguistic anthropology, which investigates the relationship between language and culture. Students will examine how language is shaped by everyday social and cultural traditions, how people utilize language in their daily lives, and how language informs identity. In addition to studying language diversity within cultural contexts, 这门课将探讨语言与种族等社会类别之间的交集, class, nationality, ethnicity, and gender. Integral to the course will be questioning assumed beliefs about language and appreciating linguistic diversity. 学生将使用人类学的研究方法来调查他们每天遇到的语言趋势. Class participation, independent research projects, individual and group assignments, and regular readings will be used to evaluate progress. Global. 2 credits 

Moral Conflicts: Throughout the trimester we will explore challenging moral issues around the globe that have a strong hold in the scientific community. 课程将包括阅读作业、辩论、研究项目和演讲. 一些主题将包括死刑,优生学和医生协助自杀. This class is co-taught with a history teacher and a science teacher, and 36 fulfills a global studies program credit. Global. Moral Conflicts is intended for 11th and 12th graders. This class may also be taken for Science credit, 2 credits 

Psychology: Theoretical Roots: The purpose of this class is for students to acquire the knowledge and skills to develop an understanding of themselves and the world around them through an examination of various schools of thought of some famous psychologists including Freud, Jung, Skinner, and Erikson. In addition, students will be introduced to a selection of psychological topics centered on the following: personality; relationship with self, others, and the world; mental health; and the development of an intense self-reflective awareness. Students are evaluated in the following ways: on the quality and quantity of their participation in group and class discussions; on journal writing; on their individual and group presentations; and on a final extensive reflective essay and/or multiple intelligence project. Global. 2 credits 

Search for Enlightenment: World Religions and Beyond: 对精神生活的渴望一直是人类历史的推动力,也是人类文化的重要组成部分. In this course (a study of history, sociology, and literature) we survey “major” and lesser known faiths and practices, 我们还研究了以寻求启蒙的个人和人物为特征的文本. 希望学生们在阅读课程材料的同时也能审视自己的生活和世界. Students who are open to self-reflection or who are interested in the history of ideas should find this course particularly stimulating. This class may also be taken for English credit. Global. 2 credits 

Teach2Serve: Developing Capstone: Students planning to continue for a second year of Teach2Serve will need to complete a summer internship or volunteer experience and write up a project proposal in the fall. In the winter trimester, 学生们将开始每周见面两次,作为一个队列,并与导师一对一地进行构思, plan, develop and implement a capstone project, 哪个是学生提出的社会或环境问题的解决方案. Students start by listening to those in the affected community, educating themselves, educating others, and defining their goals. They will develop and practice an elevator pitch so they can succinctly communicate what they hope to accomplish with their project. Next, they will write a vision and mission statement; a project proposal in which they identify their goals, assets, logistics, marketing plan, recruiting plan, and governance; a preliminary budget; a fundraising proposal; and a self-evaluation. The focus of this student-directed program is on learning by doing. Open to students accepted from the Teach2Serve program only. 2 credits 

Teach2Serve: Giving: In this two trimester honors course, which is a requirement of the Teach2Serve program, students will study the history of philanthropy and social service in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and identify the motivations, strengths and limitations of each. Students will become familiar with the actors in the process, the barriers that exist, the points of entry, and the pathways to change. Along the way, they will develop such skills as teambuilding, listening, conflict resolution, negotiation, resource mobilization, and fundraising. Lessons will be communicated more concretely through an examination of articles, books, and case studies related to an area of need chosen by the class. This course will also include workshops and opportunities to meet with dynamic social entrepreneurs and professionals working in the non-profit world. Course requirements include readings, journal responses, group projects and presentations, and a grant proposal. Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only. 4 credits. Winter and Spring trimester 

Writing in College: For many students research papers remain mystifying, unnatural (even painful), but the process can be a straightforward one if approached the right way. By acknowledging the presence of research in our own lives, and employing methodical guided practice, this course aims to turn the written research product from something agonizing and alien into a skill that can be confidently utilized at will. If this is a set of tools you want in your kit, and you are willing to commit some time to make that happen, then this course should help make you ripe for the task. This class may also be taken for English credit. 2 credits 

 

SPRING TRIMESTER COURSES

Archaeology: Archaeology is the study of past cultures through their material remains. In this course, students will examine how the field of archaeology helps us to better understand the past using mostly unwritten sources and how it shapes the modern world around us. Class topics will include excavation methods, dating techniques, artifact analysis, conservation, and cultural history. This course will also include opportunities to visit an archaeological site and meet professionals working in the field. Students will be evaluated through class participation and discussion, presentations, readings, and writing assignments. Global. 2 credits 

Identity and Diversity: The purpose of this team taught class is to prompt students to acknowledge, review and develop their preconceptions regarding the terms “identity” and “diversity” as they apply to themselves and others in our society. Students will be exposed to literature, non-fiction material, and audio/visual resources relating to identity and diversity, and they will engage in discussion and dialogue to assist in their reflective process. Students are evaluated in the following ways: on the quality and quantity of their participation in class discussions; on their written assignments, including journal writing; and on their individual and group presentations. Global. 2 credits 

Into the Wild: Nature in Writing and Life: 身处丛林是人类的一种基本欲望,许多伟大的作家都把它作为写作的主题. There is healing there, as is captured in Cheryl Strayed's memoir, Wild. 就像约翰·克拉考尔(John Krakauer)的纪实小说《韦德娱乐苹果手机版下载》(Into the Wild)中悲惨地叙述的那样,这里有冒险. And there is enlightenment, reflected upon in the essays of Emerson and Thoreau. This class will use literature as its starting point, focusing on the writings mentioned above and more as well as film, and then will move beyond the classroom and into the subject itself, nature, with occasional outdoor excursions and journaling. This class may also be taken for English credit. 2 credits 

Meditation Traditions: As far back as 1500 BCE, seekers, thinkers, and mystics have pursued a path to enlightenment that involves simply sitting and silently investigating the workings of the mind. Over the millennia, this elemental notion has spawned a myriad of contemplative practices, from those that focus on laser-like concentration, to those that cultivate broad and lasting insight in our mind's very nature. This course will attempt to survey these various traditions; their goals, texts, methods and results. From the chanting traditions of Tibet and medieval Christianity, to the self-improvement-oriented practices of modern secular meditation schools, students will be able to examine, and assess for themselves, which form of meditation might be valuable in their own lives. In addition to traditional coursework, students in Meditation Traditions will have occasion to practice some secular science-based mediation for themselves. Therefore students choosing Meditation Traditions should be comfortable with being "alone with their thoughts" and an able to sit still for extended periods of time. Global. 2 credits  

Public Speaking: The purpose of this class is to allow students to acquire the techniques and methods of formal speaking and presentations and to develop the ability to speak extemporaneously. The students experience a variety of practical applications and at least five different kinds of speeches including speaking to inspire, to inform, to persuade, to demonstrate and to entertain. Students are evaluated: on each of their formal prepared speeches; on their performance in improvisational speaking; and on their final speech in front of the whole school. This class may also be taken for English credit. 2 credits 

Teach2Serve: Giving: In this two trimester honors course, which is a requirement of the Teach2Serve program, students will study the history of philanthropy and social service in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and identify the motivations, strengths and limitations of each. Students will become familiar with the actors in the process, the barriers that exist, the points of entry, and the pathways to change. Along the way, they will develop such skills as teambuilding, listening, conflict resolution, negotiation, resource mobilization, and fundraising. Lessons will be communicated more concretely through an examination of articles, books, and case studies related to an area of need chosen by the class. This course will also include workshops and opportunities to meet with dynamic social entrepreneurs and professionals working in the non-profit world. Course requirements include readings, journal responses, group projects and presentations, and a grant proposal. Open to students in the Teach2Serve program only. 4 credits. Winter and Spring trimester 

Teach2Serve: Developing Capstone: (spring trimester, year 2): Students planning to continue for a second year of Teach2Serve will need to complete a summer internship or volunteer experience and write up a project proposal in the fall. In the winter trimester, 学生们将开始每周见面两次,作为一个队列,并与导师一对一地进行构思, plan, develop and implement a capstone project, 哪个是学生提出的社会或环境问题的解决方案. Students start by listening to those in the affected community, educating themselves, educating others, and defining their goals. They will develop and practice an elevator pitch so they can succinctly communicate what they hope to accomplish with their project. Next, they will write a vision and mission statement; a project proposal in which they identify their goals, assets, logistics, marketing plan, recruiting plan, and governance; a preliminary budget; a fundraising proposal; and a self-evaluation. The focus of this studentdirected program is on learning by doing. Open to students accepted from the Teach2Serve program only. 2 credits.