How do we become active citizens in the U.S. and the global community? How do we think critically, making connections between the past and the present? How do we analyze documents and online sources for content and credibility? How do we cultivate an understanding of social and economic justice issues?
The Social Studies Department seeks to develop all of those skills and more within the context of each course, topic and time period. The Department seeks to integrate an understanding of history with an understanding of the present. Courses investigate cultural, economic, intellectual, and religious topics in addition to presenting traditional political narratives. All history courses include some form of individual research project that requires the use of primary sources and the ability to handle conflicting interpretations. Students also learn to make effective presentations before the class. For graduation, three high school credits are required.
Those students interested in the liberal arts should consider selections from the range of electives in addition to the core offerings. Civics is taught in Grade 7, followed by a two year course in World Cultures. The Grade 8 course, World Cultures I, engages students in the study of ancient civilizations through the Medieval period. In Grade 9, World Cultures II, the course picks up with the Renaissance and continues through modern times. In Grade 10, students begin their two year study of U.S. History with US History I (Columbus to Civil War/Reconstruction) followed in Grade 11 by U.S. History II, which begins with the Gilded Age and continues to the present. Three senior full credit electives are also available – Civics, Economics Honors, and U.S. Foreign Policy Honors. Graduation requirements for the Upper School are met beginning with World Cultures II.