Social Studies

About the Department

The curriculum of the Social Studies Department has been designed to provide required and elective courses the prepare students for the challenge of college. The goal is to encourage students to become active citizens with a knowledge oftheir own cultural heritage, as well as a respect for other cultures.

Students must complete three years of social studies.

 

Social Studies Courses

Global Studies

Students will gain a general understanding of the histories and cultures of the world and how these histories relate to and affect our own world. Students will study the civilizations of Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East. The course will focus on the cultural, social, religious and political developments in each of these areas. We will pay particular attention to how these developments created the world in which we live today.

Western Civilization

The student will explore the heritage of Western Civilization through an examination of the cultural and political contributions of the Ancient World, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and Modern Era in Europe and the Americas. Emphasis will be placed on methods of historical inquiry and objectivity in order to reach a true understanding and appreciation of the many contributions of these past eras to our present.

Asian Studies

This course is designed to expose the student to the wonders of the history and culture of India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia from the time of the earliest civilizations, through the period of Western contact and up to the modern era. By studying the development of Asian social and political institutions, and its great religious and philosophical traditions, the student will come to understand the importance of Asian cultures in world history.

Asian Honors Humanities

Asian Honors Humanities will focus on Japanese history, language, and culture from earliest times to the present. Since much of Japanese culture is borrowed from China and to a lesser extent India and Korea, when necessary, the major political, philosophical, and religious movements of countries contributing to the formation of Japanese culture will be covered as well. Japan’s interaction with other Asian nations in recent history will also be discussed.

Departmental Approval, Student GPA is considered.

American History

Today the United States ranks as the most influential nation in the world. For many years, the ideals of the American Revolution inspired imitators in the lands far removed from North America. The spirit of American enterprise and the ingenious nature of her technology have been imitated everywhere. But admiration and envy are mixed with hatred and scorn. Many people in developing nations believe that the United States has turned its back on the great revolutionary tradition in which it was born. Instead of trying to pack the course with factual information, the teachers of American History have chosen to select vital elements of the American tradition and to explore them in depth.

AP United States History

AP American History is a college level course and is designed for students with a serious interest in Social Studies. The course syllabus will be in accordance with College Board guidelines for AP American History and will prepare the student for the AP exam at the end of the year Placement in AP American History is based on G.P.A. and grades Social Studies courses. Students in AP American History will be required to take the AP exam. Failure to do so will result in a half letter grade deduction of the final grade.

Department approval required.

AP Government and Politics

This Advanced Placement course is designed to give students a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. To accomplish this end, the course studies the development of our system of constitutional government, political beliefs and behaviors in the United States, the organization of the National government, civil rights and civil liberties.

Placement is based on G.P.A. and grades Social Studies courses.

AP European History

AP European History is a survey of European History from “The Late Middle Ages to the Dawn of the 21st Century,” and will fulfill the History requirement for the students who have taken Asian Humanities Honors. This course will explore not only the political aspects of Europe’s history, but also the important intellectual, cultural, and economic developments over the last 700 years. Special attention will be devoted to the important conflicts, borrowing of culture and economic interaction between Europe and Asia from the Renaissance to the present. Through lecture, student projects, primary documents, class discussion and exposure to artistic works, students will be provided with the background necessary to understand the important social, cultural and intellectual movements during this period.

Department approval required.

Economics

This course will focus on the various theories of economic development, i.e., Keynesian, Monetarist, supply side, etc. Students will explore the various forces in economics and how they interact with each other. They will study how the manipulation of these forces can affect the national economy and how that national economy interacts with the international economy creating a world economy. Finally, the course will explore how the economic forces affect those decisions a company must make to determine how it should develop and how it handles its financial resources.

Introduction to American Government

American Government introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments.

There is no prerequisite for this course. It is a full year course.

Introduction to Sociology

This course will serve as introduction to the science of society, with an emphasis on modern America. Sociologists study how various social forces and institutions, such as religion, politics, technology and education mold our views about our world and our place in it. Topics for study will include sociological theory, socialization, deviance, stratification, power, and change.

Modern Asia

Over the last two centuries the countries of south and east Asia have undergone significant change and considerable turmoil. Imperial dynasties have fallen and traditional cultures have been subjected to foreign domination and radical ideologies. War and conflict have become the norm rather than the exception to it.

This course will investigate the main forces which have affected Asia in the modern era. Special attention will be devoted to major international conflicts including the Opium wars, World War II, and the clashes in Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian "hot spots."

In addition, the rise of Asian nationalism and communism will be closely examined, as well as the resultant tragedies such as the "killing fields" of Cambodia and failed insurrectionist movements in Indonesia and the Philippines. Finally, recent historical developments will be analyzed including the rise of Japan as an economic power, the pro-democracy movement in China, Burma, and other Asian countries.

The Modern Middle East

The first semester course is a study of the Middle East and North Africa from the late 19th Century to the present. The region is defined to include the entire Arab world from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east as well as Iran, Turkey and Israel. The topics of the course will focus on regional conflicts, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian question; special attention will be placed on U.S. involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, dependence on foreign oil, Iran-Iraq War, The Persian Gulf War, and the War on Terror. The goal of the course is for seniors to come away with an understanding of the political, cultural, social and economic forces that have shaped the Middle East in the modern world.

U.S. History Since 1945

The second semester course examines the recent events and trends which have shaped the world in which we live. The course will focus on the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the rise of the consumer society, the Vietnam War, and the Reagan Presidency. We will use a variety of sources including textbooks, contemporary readings, music, and films. The goal of the course is to allow seniors and qualified juniors to acquire a basic understanding of the forces which inform American society and politics today.

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Our Social Studies Faculty

Mr. Charles Donohue

Mr. Charles Donohue

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Social Studies
Mr. Keith Hellstern

Mr. Keith Hellstern

Titles: Teacher, Football Coach
Departments: Social Studies
Mr. Rudolph Mauritz

Mr. Rudolph Mauritz

Titles: Department Chair, Varsity Baseball Coach, Varsity Baseball Coach
Departments: Social Studies
Mr. Thomas Sacerdote

Mr. Thomas Sacerdote

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Social Studies, Theology
Mr. Matthew Sather

Mr. Matthew Sather

Titles: Teacher, Varsity Hockey Coach, Varsity Hockey Coach, Asst. Baseball Coach
Departments: English, Social Studies
Mr. William Shea

Mr. William Shea

Titles: Teacher, Varsity Football Coach
Departments: English, Social Studies
Mr. John Szablewicz

Mr. John Szablewicz

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Social Studies
Mr. John Wallace

Mr. John Wallace

Titles: Teacher
Departments: Social Studies