Philosophy: The philosophy of the social studies department tries to be consistent with that of the entire St. Paul’s School, that is, to develop the whole child within a Christian framework. Specifically we feel it is our mission to help develop the student's awareness of his/her heritage by understanding the historical, cultural, social, political and economic systems that have shaped their heritage. The social studies curriculum has been designed to develop a student's knowledge of historical events and concepts within a chronological and topical framework. The curriculum's further goals consist of developing the skills necessary for inquiry, critical thinking, investigative writing and presentations in a variety of modes. Special emphasis is placed on developing tolerance for all cultures through continued study of the past and its relationship to current events. As we prepare students for the rigors of college, we strive to prepare the students to be good citizens and learn the benefits of contributing to society.
COURSES OF STUDY
WORLD HISTORY I: THE ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL WORLD
This ninth grade level course is a survey of world civilizations from prehistory through the medieval period, approximately to 1500. Coverage will include both western and non-western cultures. Special emphasis will be given to both current and historical geography and map skills. The course will begin with a unit on contemporary world issues and current events will be an important component of the course throughout the year. Development of writing skills, critical analysis, and reading comprehension, analysis of primary documents, organizational skills and note taking will be emphasized. Evaluations will include unit tests, quizzes, homework and a variety of in-class activities and out-of-class assignments. This course is a foundation for World History II: The Modem World or AP European History.
WORLD HISTORY II: THE MODERN WORLD
This tenth grade level course is a survey of world history from 1500 to the present. Coverage will include both western and non-western cultures. Geography and current events will be year-long areas of focus. Special emphasis will be given to writing both standard essays and document-based questions. Skills developed in World History I will be refined and expanded. Evaluations will include unit tests, quizzes, homework and a variety of in-class activities and out-of-class assignments.
UNITED STATES HISTORY
This course is a survey of United States history. It begins with the study of the nation’s formative years with heavy concentration on the Constitution. This course continues through United States History and ends with the current time period. Both United States and world geography as well as current event relations are incorporated into each unit. Critical reading and thinking and historical writing are emphasized. Major projects include research papers, critical book reviews, oral presentations, Internet assignments, and, during presidential election years, an election project. Evaluation is based on unit tests, quizzes, homework, and a variety of in-class activities and out-of-class assignments.
AP UNITED STATES HISTORY
The AP program in United States History is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and issues in United States history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. This is a survey course that includes units ranging from exploration and colonization to the present. A college level textbook and supplemental readings are utilized. Evaluations include unit tests, quizzes, oral presentations, document analysis, and standard essays as well as DBQs (document-based questions). The second semester grade will be an average of second and third quarter and no St Paul's second semester exam will be given for the course. All students enrolled in the Advanced Placement courses will be required to take the Advanced Placement exam, for which there is an additional fee.
HISTORY THROUGH FILM (Humanities elective for 12th grade)
This totally online course will examine the relationship between history and popular culture, using movies as a tool for understanding historical concepts. This will be taught as a symposium type course. Because it is an online course, students will communicate in course chat rooms (closed to the public), create online projects, and participate in course blogs and wikis. Critical thinking skills will be emphasized and students will enhance their knowledge of technology.
Senior Government/Economics is actually two separate one-semester courses. Senior government is a general survey course designed to expand a student's knowledge of U.S. political and governmental systems. Five units, ranging from Political Parties and Interest Groups to one each for the three branches, are utilized to help prepare the student for an introductory political science course in college. Skills emphasized are reading comprehension and critical analysis of opposing viewpoints. In election years the major project is a paper based on fifteen hours of required campaign work. Senior economics is a general survey course created to expose the student to the discipline. The course consists of five units - three covering microeconomics, and two macroeconomics. Skills emphasized are graph design and interpretation, analysis of economic models and critical reading. The major project for the course is a stock project, in which students "purchase" stocks and research their performance over time. In both courses a primary text is utilized. Evaluations consist of tests, quizzes, essays and homework assignments.
AP GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS 12
AP Government and AP Economics are two separate single semester courses. AP Government is designed around the curriculum established by the Advanced Placement Board for the U.S. Politics and Government course. This curriculum consists of seven units ranging from the Constitutional underpinnings of our system to the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The course seeks to prepare the student for the AP exam in the spring. Skills emphasized are critical reading and writing, analysis of primary documents and comparative analysis of theory versus practice in our governmental system. A primary text and reading supplement of contemporary essays are utilized. St. Paul’s offers Micro AP Economics designed to prepare the student for the AP exam in the spring. The course consists of five units ranging from supply and demand to the theory of the firm. In addition to the primary text, students utilize the Advance Placement Micro Workbook to enhance understanding of the material. The major project for the course is a stock project, in which students "purchase" stocks and research their performance over time. In both courses evaluation is primarily through tests and essays, although quizzes are used for diagnostic purposes. Advanced Placement courses provide the opportunity for students to receive college credit through the Advanced Placement examination process. All students enrolled in Advanced Placement Government and Economics will be required to take one of the two examinations available, for which there is an additional fee.
Current Issues is a series of Social Studies seminars in which students explore important political, economic, and cultural issues of the day through reading and discussion of contemporary authors.
AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
Advanced Placement European History provides a study of political, diplomatic, social, economic, and cultural history of Europe from the Renaissance to the present. The demands of the class are equivalent to those made by an introductory college course. This survey course utilizes a college level textbook and primary source outside readings. Emphasis is on the development of analytical thinking, reading comprehension, organizational techniques, note taking and essay writing. Particular emphasis is given to the DBQ (document-based question). Evaluation is based on unit tests, chapter quizzes, homework, and a variety of in-class and out-of-class assignments. The second semester grade will be an average of second and third quarter and no St. Paul's second semester exam will be given for the course. All students enrolled in the Advanced Placement courses will be required to take the Advanced Placement exam, for which there is an additional fee.