Social Studies Department
Social Studies education has a specific mandate pertaining to citizenship education. This mandate provides every student with the opportunity to learn and develop the skills that are needed for participation in American social, political, and economic life. As the world becomes more interdependent, that mandate extends to the global community and a need for students to adapt to an ever-changing environment in regards to American beliefs and values.
Social Studies Course Descriptions
WORLD HISTORY Y 9
The course explores the historical background of those forces that have shaped our world today. It traces the historical development of the world from pre-Renaissance times up to the modern era including, but not limited to, the fall of communism. It emphasizes geographic, political, economic, and social forces in accordance with Illinois state guidelines.
HONORS WORLD HISTORY Y 9
Honors World History examines the historical elements and forces that have shaped our world today. It traces human development from its beginning to contemporary times. This course stresses political, economic, and social forces. The use of primary documents and sources are emphasized to prepare students for continued education and the global community in the twenty-first century.
U.S. HISTORY Y 10
As a nation we have inherited wisdom from the past, and we have also inherited problems from the past. In order to solve regional or national problems, American citizens need to learn from their origins and circumstances. Political, social, and economic developments are traced from Pre-Columbian America to modern times.
HONORS U.S. HISTORY Y 10
Honors U.S. History examines the same content as the U.S. History course, but with increased emphasis on historical analysis, in-depth projects, college prep writing, and primary sources. Political, social, and economic developments are traced from Pre-Columbian America to modern times.
GOVERNMENT S 11-12
This course allows students to investigate and understand our basic governmental system at local, state, and national levels. To further learn about our place in the global community, students explore topics which allow them to see our nation's role in dealing with world issues. This course meets state and federal Constitution requirements.
HONORS GOVERNMENT S 11-12
Honors Government explores much of the same material as the regular Government class, but it is more comprehensive. Material is covered in a more in-depth manner and additional time is spent in preparation and presentation of individual and group projects. This course meets state and federal Constitution requirements.
ECONOMICS S 11-12
Economics is a course designed to increase students' knowledge in two primary content areas. In the first of these areas, students study the operation of American economy. This phase features the free enterprise system. Topics of study include supply and demand, international trade, the market system, and alternative economic systems. In addition, this phase covers economic problems such as unemployment, inflation, taxes, and the business cycle. The second phase of the course deals with consumer issues. It focuses on career choice, investments, savings, insurance, banking, and other areas of personal finance. This course fulfills the Consumer Education requirements as established by the State of Illinois.
HONORS ECONOMICS S 11-12
Economics is a course designed to increase students' knowledge in two primary content areas. In the first of these areas, students study the operation of American economy. This phase features the free enterprise system. Topics of study include supply and demand, international trade, the market system, and alternative economic systems. In addition, this phase covers economic problems such as unemployment, inflation, taxes, and the business cycle. The second phase of the course deals with consumer issues. It focuses on career choice, investments, savings, insurance, banking, and other areas of personal finance. This course fulfills the Consumer Education requirements as established by the State of Illinois. Students enrolled at the Honors level should expect to complete additional readings outside of class relative to the current U.S. economy, research current events, and organize information through various projects and presentations.
SOCIAL STUDIES ELECTIVES
AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (college credit available) Course Length: Y 9-10
AP Human Geography is an introductory college-level course. This course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and land- scape analysis to examine socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. Students will be highly encouraged to take the AP Exam in the spring which will provide them the opportunity to earn college credit prior to leaving high school. Successful completion of this course may be used to fulfill the World History graduation requirement.
AP U.S. HISTORY (college credit available) Y 11-12
The main purpose of this elective course is to prepare students for the National Advanced Placement Exam given each spring. This writing and reading intensive course is for those students interested in earning college credit. Topics range from the impact of the Puritans to present day issues. Emphasis is placed on the study of primary documents and other historical writings.
PSYCHOLOGY S 11-12
This elective course is a general course of study whereby students come to understand their own behavior and the behavior of others. Some topics include: the principles of scientific investigation, the principles of learning, the physiology of the nervous system, personality development, and coping with stress. Topics of current interest in psychology are also presented for discussion. The intent is to give students the practical means with which to understand and utilize the material in their own lives.
AP PSYCHOLOGY Y 11-12
This elective course is an in-depth study of all human behavior. Using the most recent research available, the course content includes the ways that psychologists attempt to describe, explain, measure, predict, and control behavior. Some topics include: the study of personality, abnormal psychology, child development, and dealing with stress. While the course offers much personal and practical information, it is also intended to prepare students for college. Students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Exam given each spring as a means to have the opportunity to earn college credit before leaving high school.
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY (college credit available) Y 11- 12
This elective course deals with the political, diplomatic, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural events in Europe from the high Renaissance to the present. There is also a brief review of the classical and medieval periods for the purpose of analyzing their impact on modern Europe. The main purpose of the course is to prepare students to take the Advanced Placement Exam given each spring.
SOCIOLOGY S 11-12
This elective course takes students on an exploration of the individual-from birth through death. In this semester course, students learn what shapes and forms the individual within a group based on culture, social class and the development of personality. Students develop a deeper understanding of an individual's role within a group by experiencing their mobility through life and its many outcomes.
AMERICAN DIVERSITY S 10-12
This elective course is designed for students who desire to examine and gain an understanding of American minority groups, namely African-Americans, Asians, Latinos/Hispanics (Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and others), Native Americans, Jewish Americans, women in America, Arab-Americans, European Americans, and aging Americans. This course also provides an overview of the social, historical, and cultural experiences of these various groups in American society. Students are required to think critically about such topics as: affirmative action, educational equality, and the multicultural world. The ultimate goal for students is to gain knowledge about people who are different from mainstream society and enhance their ability to bridge the gaps of division and better appreciate our world.
HISTORY OF CHICAGO S 11-12
Recommended Prerequisite: U.S. History
Content includes the city's founding, the Great Fire of 1871, transportation connections, the World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893, the development of unique architecture, and modern-day ethnic and economic diversity unique to Chicago. Students explore Chicago through literature, reading Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Erik Larson's Devil in the White City.
Lisa Boersma, Team Lead