Social Studies Curriculum

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Last Updated on Monday, 31 December 2012 20:36 Hits: 11602

Freshman Classes

Global Perspectives - HIS 101

Honors /Accelerated /Preparatory /Basic
Available to: Grade 9
Prerequisite: 8th grade recommendations
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course takes a nonwestern approach to history, introducing students to the various global issues that have prevailed over the last two centuries. It is designed to help students build the insights and background necessary for interpreting international problems and conflicts. Some of the topics to be covered will include nationalism, politics, economics, religion, and cultural identity. These issues will be explored using case studies concerning Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. Along with the historical content, emphasis is placed on writing, reading, study, research, and analytical skills.

Foundations of Democracy - HIS 111

Honors /Accelerated /Preparatory /Basic
Available to: Grade 9
Prerequisite: 8th grade recommendations
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Foundations of Democracy focuses on helping students acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become active contributing citizens. The fundamental premise of the course is that the responsibilities of citizenship are learned through practical engagement in community life. Students will critically examine both the promises and challenges of American democracy through a series of interactive activities ranging from classroom simulations to applications in real life. Students will research the U.S. Constitution and its origins and examine the functions and responsibilities of government at the federal, state, and local levels.


Sophomore Classes

Advanced Placement United States History I - HIS 901

Available to: Grade 10
Prerequisite(s): Students must possess a high degree of interest in American History and have performed at an exemplary level in Honors or A level freshman social studies and English classes.
Application: Yes. Interested freshmen must complete and submit an application packet prior to April 4, 2008. No student will be considered unless the entire application packet is completed. Application packets are available in the Guidance Department and on line at www.winnacunnet.org.
Summer Assignment: Yes. A student must remain eligible by completing the summer reading assignments, take and successfully complete an exam based on the summer readings in September of the sophomore year
Credits: 4 (2 trimesters)

The Advanced Placement U.S. History program is designed for students with strong academic skills who have a special interest in American History and/or who may be considering pursuing a major in history or related fields, such as pre-law or political science at the college/university level. The AP program requires a 5-trimester commitment (two trimesters sophomore year, three junior year). All AP students are required to take the national AP U.S. History exam during the fifth trimester of the program. The first year of the U.S. History (AP) involves the student in an in-depth study of the history of America from the Pre-Columbian Period to the 1880s. Special emphasis is also placed on the structure of American government, the U.S. Constitution, and the political process. First year students are also introduced to historic research, structuring an historic research paper, and interpreting DBQs (document based questions).

United States History I - HIS 201

Honors /Accelerated /Preparatory /Basic
Available to: Grade 10
Prerequisite: Global Issues and Foundations of Democracy
Basic level is by team/teacher recommendation only. Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

U.S, History I and II explore the events, people, ideas, and circumstances that formed the American nation. The development of the United States is followed form its beginnings as an agriculturally based infant Republic to its current position as an industrial/technological world power. U.S. History Parts I and II are each one trimester courses. Students must take and successfully complete U.S. History Part I in grade 10 before taking U.S. History Part II in grade 11.


Junior Classes

Advanced Placement United States History II - HIS 902

Available to: Grade 11
Prerequisite(s): Completion of Advanced Placement US History I and recommendation of the instructor
Summer Assignment: Yes
Credits: 6 (3 trimesters)
Note: Advanced Placement U.S. History Parts I and II will fulfill the Economics requirement

The second year of the U.S. History (AP) program involves the student in an in-depth study of American history from the late 19th century to the present. Special emphasis is also placed on current historical issues, analysis of primary sources DBQs, and preparation for the National AP exam. Second year students are required to complete an extensive reading list and an in-depth research project based on primary and secondary sources and in some cases, interviews. All students must participate in the National AP US History examination.

United States History II - HIS 301

Honors /Accelerated /Preparatory /Basic
Available to: Grade 11
Prerequisite: Foundations of Democracy and US History I Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

U.S, History I and II explore the events, people, ideas, and circumstances that formed the American nation. The development of the United States is followed form its beginnings as an agriculturally based infant Republic to its current position as an industrial/technological world power. U.S. History Parts I and II are each one trimester courses. Students must take and successfully complete U.S. History Part I in grade 10 before taking U.S. History Part II in grade 11.

An Economic Way of Thinking - HIS 311

Honors /Accelerated /Preparatory /Basic
Available to: Grade 11
Prerequisite: Global Issues and Foundations of Democracy
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

An Economic Way of Thinking explores the fundamental principles of how and why economic decisions are made on a personal, national, and international level. As students gain an understanding how scarce resources are utilized and distributed and why economic decisions are made, they will analyze the role that economic thinking plays in their daily lives. Students will examine the essential concepts necessary to evaluate options and make decisions utilizing an economic way of thinking. Topics covered will include opportunity cost, supply and demand, government regulation, personal finance, and the business cycle. The concluding unit will examine comparative economic systems with a focus on the underdeveloped world.


United States History Concentration Courses

While these courses meet the U.S. History concentration requirement, they may also be chosen as electives.

America at Trial - HIS 400

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

America at Trial will examine famous criminal trials, U.S. Supreme Court cases, and constitutional crises that have had a significant impact on American History from the Colonial period (e.g. the Boston Massacre Trial) to the present. The course will use both chronological and thematic approaches, utilizing mock trials, moot (Supreme) court hearings, debates, and film.

The Civil War - HIS 401

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

From 1861-1865 America was at war with itself. The conflict, labeled by many historians as the defining event in the history of the United States, became known as the American Civil War. This course, designed for students with a special interest in this era, will follow the Civil War from its causes to the controversies that still surround it today. Special attention will be paid to the slavery issue, the military campaigns of the conflict, leaders, military and political strategies, and the concept of the Civil War as the world’s first “modern war.”

History of Media - HIS 402

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course examines the history and development of mass media in America -in all its political, legal, cultural and technological dimensions. From creating mass images and messages to accumulation of fortune and fame, from politicians’ stump speeches to political debates and ads on TV, from local musicians entertaining at local venues to juke boxes and canned music, from a handwritten note to e-mails and “IM-ing”, let’s face it folks “the medium is the message.” Let’s see how that came to be. How did we get from “then” to “now” -media wise?

Sports and Society - HIS 403

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Sports and Society explores the social and cultural impact of sport in American life and the relationship between the two. Students will investigate the influences that have shaped the development of amateur and professional sports, while examining the historical context of sports in American culture. The course will pay particular attention to the current political, economic and social issues of sports in America. Topics include racism and the integration of sports, sports and politics on the international scene, Title IX and the rise of women’s sports, the marriage of sports and business, and America’s pastime and the war years 1941-1945.

The Times They Are a Changing - HIS 404

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

The Times They Are a Changing looks at the counter culture in America and how it changed our society. If you went to sleep in 1958 and awoke within the next 15 years would you recognize America? This course examines the dramatic changes that consumed American society and the people and institutions affected by those changes. What were the causes of these changes, and now some forty years later, how have those experiences defined who we are? Students will look into the seeds of this revolution as well as the everlasting changes that still remain.

Vietnam Revisited - HIS 405

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Vietnam Revisited focuses on the conflict during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s when the Cold War had begun to sizzle. Students will explore the causes and effects of the war front in Vietnam and the home front in America. Reading, writing, and research will be assigned, covering a multitude of interesting topics that span from the cultural to the technological. Past and present day will be compared along with the effects on the American psyche. Opposing student viewpoints towards the war will be examined, and students will be strongly encouraged to be creative in their work on projects and presentations. Various approaches will be employed when presenting information including film, news media and guest lecturers.

The Wild West - HIS 406

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course will examine both the myth and the reality associated with the daring individuals who represented the first wave of the ever-expanding European/American civilization. We will explore and attempt to understand why individuals chose to exist on the fringe of “civilization”, what their lives were actually like, and how the tales of their exploits influenced the rest of the nation. A concluding activity will ask students to apply what they have learned about the frontier experience to American today and to evaluate its relevance in the twenty-first century. Students will read and evaluate material from a number of different sources. Readings will include primary source materials, traditional historical sources, and a variety of literature including short stories and novels. Assessment will emphasize student writing and projects.

Women’s History - HIS 407

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Women’s History brings “her story” alive. This course emphasizes the contributions of women in shaping United States history. It will explore the political and cultural forces that have defined a woman’s role in a male dominated society. Students will study famous American women throughout all time periods in a variety of fields. Ultimately, in studying current issues regarding women’s rights and the role and status of women in contemporary society we are studying ourselves.

World War II - HIS 408

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Students enrolling in this course will conduct an in-depth exploration of the Second World War from its causes to its aftermath. Focus will be on the rise of fascism, the causes of the war, the Pearl Harbor attack and US entry into the war, the home front, the concept of the “two front war,” civilian and military leaders of the W.W.II era, the European and Pacific theaters of war, the “shadow war” (espionage, intelligence, and sabotage), the Holocaust, war “consciousness,” propaganda, and the weaponry, technology, strategy, and tactics of the war. The course will conclude with an examination of the war’s immediate aftermath and the long-term effects of the conflict.

Elective Courses (Elective courses will not fulfill the U.S. History concentration requirement.)

Asia Rising - HIS 510

Available to: Grades 9 - 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course provides an in-depth look at the often misunderstood continent of Asia. While the study of Asian history is one component of the course, culture, geopolitics, colonial legacies, nationalist movements and currents events are also important areas of focus. What’s the real truth behind the Juche policy in North Korea? Who is Aung San Suu Kyi and why is the military junta holding her captive? Is China the world’s bogeyman? Why is Japanese society so old? Who are the heroes of modern Asia? These are just a few of the questions that will be explored in Asia Rising.

Crime and Punishment - HIS 501

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

The subject matter introduced in this course includes a study of crime, criminal law, and court procedures. Considerable time is also devoted to the study of our penal system. Not open to students who have taken Crime and Punishment.

European Foundations - HIS 507

Available to: Grades 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Medieval Europe was dark and yet the art, the Catholic Church, knights, and peasants rose to create an era of color, sound, and power. Disease and politics of intolerance were overcome and the European world was reborn and never looked back. The glory years of European cultural, political, and economic dominance started in Italy and spread throughout the world and these are the legacies that changed the world.

Money, Power & Poverty - HIS 503

Available to: Grades 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

Are you feeling you lack global knowledge? Who is really running things? Is the world heading for financial chaos? Find out in Money, Power and Poverty, and an introduction to the global economy in the 21st century. This student-centered class is discussion based and involves active participation. Topics include the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the Emergence of the World Trade Organization, the semantics of the North American Free Trade Agreement and other regional trading blocs. The focus will be on global financial and governmental situations from economics to war and poverty to peace.

Psychology - HIS 504

Available to: Grades 11 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course is for those students interested in the study of human behavior, motivation, and adjustment. It is intended to help students to understand themselves and others. A student selecting Psychology should enjoy independent study, reading, participating in debates on issues, and be intensely interested in and curious about the forces that influence human behavior. Special focus is on the major theorists in psychology, methods of communication, development of masculinity and femininity, interpersonal relationships, and social attitudes.

Sociology - HIS 505

Available to: Grades 11 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course studies the interaction of people in groups, people as they exist within their institutions and cultures, and their behavior and attitudes in relation to current social problems. A student electing the course should enjoy independent study, reading, and participation in debates on issues and be intensely interested and curious about the present changing world.

Street Law - HIS 502

Available to: Grades 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course in civil law focuses on student civil rights and personal legal responsibilities. The primary areas of study include First Amendment rights, discrimination, rights in the workplace, and legal issues involving family, housing, consumers, and negligence. Projects, role-plays, and mock trials are utilized to provide a better understanding of the legal process.

This is Africa - HIS 509

Available to: Grades 9 - 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

This course provides an in-depth look at the often misunderstood continent of Africa. While the study of African history is one component of the course, culture, geopolitics, colonial legacies, nationalist movements and currents events are also important areas of focus. What’s the real truth behind the “blood diamonds” in countries like Sierra Leone? Why doesn’t oil = prosperity in Nigeria? Why is Ethiopia, the only country to have successfully staved off European imperialism, so powerless today? Who are the heroes of modern Africa? These are just a few of the questions that will be explored in This is Africa.

World History - HIS 506

Available to: Grades 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Credits: 2 (1 trimester)

The range of time addressed by World History is 1450 to the present day. With a primarily non-western approach to history, students will gain a greater understanding of the world around them by studying the major civilizations, individuals, and events that have shaped humanity into what it is today. A sampling of the topics that will be examined include Suleiman the Magnificent and the zenith of the Ottoman Empire, the Taj Mahal and other cultural impacts of the Mughal Empire in India, Samurai warrior culture in Japan, “Che” Guevara and the Cuban Revolution, and Ayatollah Khomeni and the Iranian Revolution.