History and Social Sciences

CIVICS:  HIST100 (1 Credit)
This course is designed for underclassmen who wish to deepen their understanding of the American system of government.  The goal of this course is to foster civic responsibility by examining the operation of the United States government and the role of the citizen. Through frequent reading and writing assignments and discussion of current events, students cultivate their skills of critical analysis and begin to assess the complex issues facing our nation today.


EUROPEAN HISTORY: HIST200 (1 Credit)    
European History for tenth graders traces modern Western civilization from the Middle Ages through the Russian revolution.  Students formulate ideas about government and society as they begin to take on modern forms.  The first semester examines the critical changes that swept across Europe during the six centuries that encompass the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Age of Religious Reformation.  The second semester examines the age of upheaval from the 17th to 20th century as European society wrestled with liberalism, nationalism, conservatism, socialism and industrialism.  Primary source readings and frequent writing and research assignments are used to deepen students' understanding of these topics.


U.S. HISTORY:  HIST300 (1 Credit)    
The Survey course of United States History will be an examination of the major events, themes and concepts in the history of our nation from the Colonial era to the present day. Original documents, films, music, novels and other supplemental sources will be used in addition to the text, Making America: A History of the United States. Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking, reading and writing skills.


THE WORLD TODAY:  HIST303 (.5 Credit) 
This student led seminar will explore major events and contemporary issues in the world today.  The historical roots and genesis of these problems are examined in light of significant domestic and foreign policy developments that have occurred in the United States and the world since 1945.  Drawing upon primary source documents, readings, and media sources, students will analyze and evaluate conflicting values, interests, and consider multiple viewpoints as they explore policy options.  Topics will be driven by student interest.  Suggested topics include:

  • The Middle East in Transition – The Arab Spring & Questions for US Policy
  • China on the World Stage – How should the United States relate to an emerging China?
  • North Korea and the Nuclear Threat
  • Russia’s Transformation – Challenges for U.S. Policy
  • The U.S. Role in a Changing World – How should the United States balance its priorities at home with its involvement abroad?


This course will explore the dynamics of human conflict and the recurrence of genocide in the modern world.  We will discuss individual and collective hatred, the psychology of mass hatred, an internationally accepted understanding of the term human rights, and the history of genocide in contemporary human society.  We will also examine “just warfare” and attempt to define the terms war, terrorism and genocide.  In addition, we will focus on four contemporary conflicts:  the Khmer Rouge’s reign in Cambodia, the Hutu-Tutsi conflict and genocide in Rwanda, civil war and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and the current events in Darfur, Sudan.  In the case of Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia we will attempt to determine the specific causes of conflict, the ‘truth” of the events in each case, and the lasting effects of the conflict in each region. We will also study UN structure, policy and reaction and examine the idea of international law and genocide as a punishable crime (and the history of international and genocide law) and the role played by the international community in each case.  Students will complete an analytical paper for the conflicts in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, and a group presentation and individual papers on Darfur; these assignments, along with tests on Cambodia and Rwanda, will make up the majority of the student’s term grade.