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History & Social Science Curriculum Update


World History II: Grade 9 – Students learned about the “Growth of the Nation State” focusing on the centralization of absolute power in Europe, England’s exception to absolutism, as well as the unification of Germany, unification of Italy, and the economic, political, social, and technological factors leading to the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Subtopics included the Glorious Revolution, Enlightenment, American Revolution, French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, Latin American Independence, and the Chinese Revolution of 1911.

United States History I: Grade 10  – Students learned about the colonization of the Americas and how European ideologies like the Enlightenment and Great Awakening impacted its cultural identity. Subtopics included comparing and contrasting of the New England, Chesapeake, and Southern colonies, as well as the developing of a Triangular Trade Route and the implementation of slavery. Students were also taught the various economic, political, and social causes of the American Revolution. The chronology of history is briefly stopped to complete a unit on Civics. Subtopics included the Articles of Confederations’ failures, Shays Rebellion vs Whiskey Rebellion, and an indepth look at the Constitution and its three branches of government. Students start, but won’t finish until November, a unit on Republicanism, with a review of the “Era of Good Feelings” and “Jacksonian Democracy”

United States History II – Students started the year by reviewing the Second Industrial Revolution, some of the subtopics from this unit were covered by USI teachers the previous year, including the various causes of industrialization, its impact on America’s cultural and socioeconomic groups, as well as the importance of immigration and their labor. Teachers also taught the Progressive Era, which subtopics include, Muckraking, Temperance, Women, Civil, and Immigrant rights, as well as a comparison between the progressive presidencies of Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson.

Advanced Placement United States History- Students spent the first week reviewing their summer analysis on the success of the Reconstruction Era. From there, students were introduced to Westward Expansion, The Second Industrial Revolution, The Progressive Era, Imperialism, World War I, and the Roaring 20’s. All notes and resources are provided on the courses’ google classroom, allowing for greater in depth discussion during the day, and an opportunity to master the various skills assessed by the College Boards’ APUSH exam in May. All assessments are based on the College Board’s APUSH exam, which include Document Based Multiple Choice Questions, Document Based Short Answer Responses, a Document Based Essay, and a Long Essay.


American Conspiracies – Students have already successfully reviewed 5 conspiracy theories. Topics included are Flat Earth, JFK Assassination, Moon Landing, Aliens, and MK Ultra. Students began the year by researching the psychological roots of conspiracy theories, and developing the six tests for evaluating conspiracy theories. For each theory, students research the history of the events, followed by the causes and effects of the conspiracy. Students are encouraged, through their research, to develop their own opinion and arguments on the conspiracy, helping to make the learning more student driven.

Law- Students have been taught, criminal law and procedure, including sources of criminal law, the nature of criminal responsibility, elements of various crimes, affirmative defenses, criminal procedures (from arrest through conviction and appeal); Torts, including the difference between criminal and civil liability, various tort causes of action (negligence, slander, etc.), and defense to tort actions, all taught using the case method and socratic dialogue to formatively assess student understanding.

Sociology- Students have been taught and introduction to Sociology, including Sociology’s place within the social sciences, major theoretical perspectives (functionalism, conflict theory, interactionist theory, social darwinism) and early sociologist like Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Spencer. Students have also reviewed culture, including the element of culture (artifacts, norms, values, language, symbols), levels of culture (trait, complex, pattern), and variations in culture (subcultures and countercultures). Students recently reviewed Personality Development, including the nature vs nurture debate, major theories of personality development and major sociologist in the field, (John Locke, Charles Horton Cooley, and George Herbert Meade).

AP Psychology – Material taught includes a background and introduction to Psychology, where students analyze the meaning and study of Psychology both past and present. Student also reviewed the various fields and professions of psychology as well as famous psychologies both past and present. Early on, students analyzed the various methods of research including case studies, natural observation, surveys, and experiments. More recently, students have been taught the “State of Consciousness” in particular, sleep and dreams, as well as hypnosis and meditation. Students have also just began to review the biology behind psychology as well as a look at the importance of the brain and brain function regarding ones psychology.

Psychology – Students began the year researching the background of psychology, what psychologist study, and the various fields and professions of psychology. Students also learned the different types of methods of research, including case studies, natural observation, surveys, and experiments. More recently students worked on sleep and dreams, hypnosis and meditation, and the concepts of sociology in relation to psychology.

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