The History Department provides students with historical thinking skills that will aid them in their understanding of primary and secondary source research. These courses challenge students academically while preparing them for competitive colleges. Encouraging independent research and higher thought processes, teachers incorporate group-centered learning activities to test student knowledge, engage students in the learning process, and encourage creativity among individuals.
World History is a two-year course that is explored through Grades 9 and 10, which provides students with the opportunity to examine recurring themes from the rise and fall of civilizations past and present.
World History I (Early Human history to 1500) chronicles the human experience around the globe from prehistory in ancient India, China, the Fertile Crescent, and along the Nile, up to the European Age of Exploration. Students will learn about global interactions between peoples and cultures, with particular emphasis on migration, warfare, religion, the arts, politics, and trade. Over the course of the year, students will be asked to think critically about these and other issues, and in the process develop important intellectual and analytical tools from structuring an argument and academic composition to research and oral presentation skills.
World History II (1500 to present) is a course designed to enlighten students' knowledge of past and present civilizations. Students will learn about civilizations and events from the Post-Middle Ages to present-day. Student will explore such topics as the earliest civilizations, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution, World War I and World War II. While the course is a study in "world history," there will be special emphasis placed on European history. Open to students in tenth grade who have successfully completed World History I or equivalent ninth grade history class.
United States History I is a survey course beginning with the European colonization of America through the 20th century. The course will concentrate on the development of American culture, its diversity and multicultural context, and the ways its people are unified by values, practices, and traditions. During the course, students study the major social, political, and religious developments in United States history, and are required to use a variety of intellectual skills and analytical tools to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments and turning points. The development of reading, writing, and oral presentation skills is emphasized through the preparation of written assignments and oral presentations. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed World History I or equivalent tenth grade history class.
AP United States History is a one year course, recognized by College Board, designed to test student knowledge of historical thinking skills and major course themes throughout American History. Material includes an in depth study of the European colonization of America through present day. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed World History II and have received permission from the AP Committee.
U.S. History II is a one year course designed to challenge students through use of historical thinking skills. There is a particular emphasis on themes of imperialism, foreign policy, government, and economics. Material includes Post-Reconstruction to present day. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed U.S. History I or equivalent eleventh grade history class.
AP Psychology is a social science course, recognized by College Board, intended to give students a foundation in the major areas of study in psychology, including—but not limited to—scientific methods, biopsychology, human development, cognition, and individual and group behavior variation. The focus of this course will be to help students understand psychology as a scientific discipline as well as to increase the student’s confidence in discussing and writing about psychological principles in a scientific manner. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed World History II and have received permission from the AP Committee.
AP Government is a one year course, recognized by College Board, including core social studies curriculum designed to give students a working knowledge of the mechanics of government and politics at all levels. Topics include the nature, structure and functioning of government in American society, the role of special interest groups and individuals in government, the electoral process and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed United States History I or AP US History and have received permission from the AP Committee.
Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics is designed as a socratic seminar. What does it mean to be a “good” person? How can we determine what is right, what is wrong, and how to evaluate different ethical dilemmas? Students will also be confronted with other classic questions in different fields of philosophy. We will discuss the natures of knowledge (epistemology) and being (ontology). Can we be certain that we exist or that our external world exists? How are the mind and brain related? Finally, we will discuss free will and how our examination of moral philosophy in many ways hinges on this debate. What is it, and do we have it? Is free will a necessary condition for holding people responsible for their actions? Employing the Socratic Method, students will be confronted with examples from regional, local and global issues, and they will learn to apply the techniques of philosophy in order to think critically and make more sound and informed decisions. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed World History II.
History of Race and Racism is a one year elective survey course. Curriculum is interdisciplinary and includes aspects of history, sociology, and current events. This is designed as a seminar course to allow students to participate more in group-centered discussions. Open to Upper School students who have successfully completed World History II.