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Social Studies

SOCIAL STUDIES MISSION

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences.

The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.” (National Council for Social Studies.) To that end, social studies instruction is based on content that draws upon appropriate elements of the human and environmental condition, supports intellectual integrity, and facilitates the development of skills and processing.

An effective social studies program ensures the academic development of students through appropriate balances between domestic and global contexts, between skills and concepts, between the present and past, and among the disciplines being employed. Effective social studies instruction is student-centered, relevant, rigorous, and provides student opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills required of successful adults.

Standard, honors, and gifted and talented levels of social studies courses are offered as enrollments justify. In these classes, the instructional level and materials are modified according to the needs of the students. Course selections will vary according to the academic level and occupational goals of students. Course sequences are shown below. Students are required to earn 3½ credits in social studies. American Government, World History, United States History, and Economics and Public Issues are required. Multiple levels of the required courses through Grade 12 are offered in the schools. In these classes, the instructional level and materials are modified according to the needs of the students.

 American Government Grade 9: GT Credit: 1 Prerequisite: Participation by selection only. Note: This course provides a Service Learning component. This course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education and is a HSA course. This course is a study of American political, economic, and social issues in national, state, and local government. In addition to factual content, the processes, institutions, and values of the American political, economic, and social systems are analyzed. Students apply understanding of government by completing ongoing issues analysis projects.

American Government Grade 9 Credit: 1 Note: This course provides a Service Learning component. This course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education and is a HSA course. This course helps students develop skills and acquire insights essential to an understanding of American political, economic, and social life at the national, state, and local levels. Attention will be on political, economic, and social issues and preparation for responsible citizenship.

World History Grade 10 Prerequisite: Completion of American Government is recommended Credit: 1 Significant episodes from global history are investigated including global and regional development; the growth of historical ties of interdependence; the expansion of Europe and its domination of the world in the modern era; the development of Africa and Asia in the modern era; and the development of global networks of political, economic, and social inter- dependence in the contemporary world. Historical themes are used to provide a structure of study. References to a variety of perspectives and resources help students develop a comprehensive view of global development.

 

United States History Grade 11 Prerequisite: Completion of World History is recommended. Credit: 1 A thematic chronological format beginning with the Reconstruction era provides the structure for this study of U.S. History that helps students understand the evolution and relevance of their national heritage. Themes are presented chronologically, emphasizing more recent U.S. History and development of historical thinking skills. Opportunities for analysis of historical issues and for research are imbedded within this course.

 

Economics and Public Issues Prerequisites: Completion of American Government, World History, and United States History is recommended. Credit: ½ Note: This course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education, the Economics graduation requirement, and Maryland Financial Literacy Standards. Economics and Public Issues will prepare students for the economic interactions they will encounter as producers, consumers, and citizens. A primary focus of the course will be personal financial literacy. The course will also provide students with skills they need as they assume roles as consumers, producers, and citizens.

 

Electives:

Juvenile Justice Prerequisite: None Credit: ½ This course will help students develop successful patterns of behavior by making them more aware of what triggers conflict and confrontation. Juvenile Justice will improve understanding of legal terminology, provide a greater sense of self-awareness and understanding of rules, and increase skills of communication. Students will analyze the purposes and consequences of the distinctions between the juvenile and adult legal systems. While examining issues and problems which affect our society, students will develop a sense of citizenship and responsibility.

 

Psychology Credit: ½ This is a study of human behavior, examined within the context of the behavioral sciences of psychology and sociology. Fundamental to this course is a focus on identity development, schools of psychology, normal and abnormal behaviors, and treatment. Students are afforded opportunities to consider and apply findings of psychological research toward understandings of the dynamics of human behavior.

Abnormal Psychology (Honors) Credit: ½ Students define and analyze abnormal behavior from a variety of perspectives. The major types and ranges of abnormal behavior are examined in detail, with special emphasis on causation and symptoms. The course culminates with analysis of treatment approaches and their respective techniques.

 

Advanced Placement Courses:

Macro and Micro Economics: Prerequisites: Completion of American Government Grade 9, World History, and United States History is recommended. Credit: 1 Note: This course satisfies the grade level requirement for Drug Education, the graduation requirement for Economics, and Maryland Financial Literacy Standards. This course is designed to prepare students to take AP exams for college credit, including micro and macro economics. Course content will be based on demands of the exams and processes required for success on the exams.

 

World History Grade 10: Prerequisite: Participation by selection only. Credit: 1 This course requires students to analyze and interpret global history through periodization and themes such as interaction, continuity and change, impacts of technology and demography, social and gender structures, cultural and intellectual developments, and functions and structures of states. This course will be directed toward assisting students to pass the AP exam in World History. Completion of the course satisfies the graduation requirement for World History.

 

U.S. History Grade 11: Prerequisite: Participation by selection only. Credit: 1 This is a chronologically organized course addressing political, economic, diplomatic, social, intellectual, and cultural history. Content emphasis is from European colonization to the present.

 

Psychology: AP Prerequisite: Grade 12 standing is recommended. Credit: 1 This course is designed to prepare students to take an AP exam for college credit. Students will analyze the approaches, methods, and applications of psychology. There is a special emphasis on physiological processes and resulting impacts on human behavior. Course content will be based on demands of the exam and processes required for success on it.

 

Human Geography: Credit: 1 This course is designed to prepare students to take an advanced placement examination for college credit. Students will conduct in-depth analysis of the causes and consequences of human interactions with their physical surroundings. Course content will be based on demands of the examination and processes required for success on the examination.