SOCIAL STUDIES

The purpose of history and social studies is to prepare students to ask and seek answers to meaningful questions and prepare them with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to become informed participants in an ever-changing global community and to act responsibly to improve its condition.

The course progressions listed below reflect only a typical sequence.

Grade 9
Grades 10 - 12

Full Year Courses: 

  • Modern World History

Semester courses (available to 9th grade students
who have either completed or are concurrently
enrolled in Modern World History)
:

  • Classical Studies
  • History of Modern Warfare
  • Introduction to Anthropology - Hall Only
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology - Hall Only
  • Latin American Studies
  • Local History - Conard Only
  • Modern Africa & the Middle East
  • Sociology of the Family - Conard Only

Full Year Courses:

  • Advanced Placement Economics (ECE) (grade 11-12 only)
  • Advanced Placement Modern European History
  • Advanced Placement Psychology (grade 11-12 only)
  • Advanced Placement United States History (grade 11-12 only)
  • United States History
  • United States History & the African American Experience

Semester Courses:

  • Advanced Placement Government and Politics
  • American Government
  • Classical Studies
  • Genocide Studies
  • History of Modern Warfare
  • Human Rights (ECE)
  • Introduction to Anthropology - Hall Only
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology - Hall Only
  • Latin American Studies
  • Local History - Conard Only
  • Modern Africa & the Middle East 
  • Sociology of the Family - Conard Only

**Students are required to complete 3 credits of Social Studies for graduation. These credits must include: 1 of Modern World History, 1 of U.S. History, and .5 of American Government.

Advanced Placement Economics

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: none

This is a full-year course designed for students who are committed to taking the AP Micro and/or Macro Economics Exam. The Microeconomic section of the course is designed to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. The Macroeconomic section of the course is designed to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. There is a particular emphasis on the study of national income and price determination, economic growth, and international economics. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course. This course may also be taken for UConn ECE credit.

Advanced Placement Modern European History

1 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of Modern World History

Students will investigate political, intellectual, social, economic and cultural aspects of European History through the analysis of topics such as: Nation States, Changing Concepts of Man, God and the Universe, Rise of Mass Urban Society, Growth of Industrial Technology, Emergence of World Politics and Intercultural Response of Europe and the Wider World. Students are evaluated on the basis of their performance on essay and objective tests, class participation and a research paper. A summer reading assignment is required. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement Psychology

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: none

The science of behavior is psychology. The purpose of the Advanced Placement Psychology course is to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and animals. Major topics in the course include psychological methods and approaches; history of psychology; biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; states of consciousness; learning; cognition; motivation and emotion; developmental psychology; theories of personality; psychological testing and individual differences; psychological disorders and their treatment; and social psychology. The AP Psychology course prepares students to take the AP Psychology examination, which is administered every year in May. By achieving a satisfactory score on the exam, students may receive college credit and/or advanced placement for course work in college. There is a summer reading requirement. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

.5 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisites: successful completion of standard American Government

The course provides students with an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This college-level course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Topics covered in this course include: constitutional underpinnings of government; political beliefs and behaviors; political parties; interest groups and mass media; institutions of national government; public policy; and civil rights and civil liberties. By taking the AP examination students may be awarded either college credit or advanced placement depending on the individual college involved. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

Advanced Placement United States History

1 Credit
Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: none

Students electing this course will pursue the study of historical growth and development of the United States from 1600 to the present. They will examine historical interpretation in greater detail and use primary source materials. By taking the AP examination students may be awarded either college credit or advanced placement depending on the individual college involved. Summer reading is a requirement. Participation in the Advanced Placement exam is an expectation of this course.

American Government

.5 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of Modern World History

Students will investigate the organization of government in the United States, the division of power between state and national government and the separation of powers in various branches of government. Formal and informal rules which regulate the political process will be examined. The procedure open to the individual citizen to influence the political decision-making process will be emphasized. Election procedures, political party activities, pressure of special interest groups, conditions influencing voter choices, limitations placed on decision makers and rights and responsibilities of citizens will be studied. Students in the course with engage in the development of a Democracy Activities Portfolio.

Classical Studies

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course will serve as a survey of Greek and Roman history. Lessons on Greece will cover the development of Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander the Great. The section on Rome will focus on the rise and fall of the Rome Republic, Rome's overseas expansion, and its transformation into the Roman Empire. Special attention will also be given to Christianity and the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west. The course will encourage students to analyze the social and political structures in Greece and Rome through the examination of art, literature, film and theater. The class will explore the reasons for the success of both civilizations and their contributions to Western civilization and the world today.

Genocide Studies

.5 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course will lead students through the concepts, perspectives, and definitions of genocide and how various groups view historical events that have been labeled genocide. Topics of study would include but not be limited to the Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, the Stalinist Purges of various groups, the American Indian experience, and the Rwandan Genocide. The course will begin with a study of the creation of the word and concept of “genocide” following the Holocaust. Through discussion, character exploration, primary source material, and film viewing, students will see the tragic events of various genocides from various perspectives. In the process, they will come to understand that history is the collective result of every individual’s thoughts and actions. They will learn the critical thinking skills required to reflect upon their own thoughts and actions, evaluate historical figures, evaluate historical occurrences, and consider how to prevent genocidal tragedies from happening again.

History of Modern Warfare

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This one semester course will be an in-depth study of the political, economic and social causes, events, and results of major wars of the past 100 years. Special attention will be given to the impact war has on civilization and populations. Topical segments from literature and films of major wars will be analyzed. Special focus will be given to World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the war in Iraq. Students in this class will spend time engaged in activities designed to improve their reading and writing skills.

Human Rights

.5 Credit
Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course on Human Rights will examine the history of Human Rights culture leading to the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its adoption by the United Nations. It will survey the various Articles and examine its application in relation to the Constitution of the United States of America. In this critical and analytical exercise the course will study the fundamental questions raised by organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and will interrogate some of the more serious violations of the protocols of the Universal Declarations not only in America but also in the international society. Case studies and appropriate media will be examined and analyzed. This course may be taken for UConn ECE credit.

Introduction to Anthropology - Hall Only 

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course examines cultural and physical anthropology with emphasis on peoples outside the United States. The basics of anthropological research techniques will be studied and then applied to an analysis of traditional cultures quite different from our own.

Introduction to Psychology

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12

Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course is designed to provide students with a foundation in the basic theories and principles of psychology. Students will examine the major theories of human behavior, personality and developmental growth. By the end of the course, students will have a greater understanding of themselves and their capacity for growth by exploring such topics as conflict resolution and interpersonal relationships. 

Introduction to Sociology - Hall Only

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

The focus of this course is a basic understanding of the principles of sociology and a practical application of sociological research.  Students will gain a better understanding of the problems and challenges facing American society today.  Issues covered include racism, social classes, the family, role conflict and contemporary popular culture. 

Latin American Studies

.5 credits
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

American history is the history of the Hispanic and Latino people. From the first European exploration through today, the western hemisphere has been colonized and populated predominantly by Spanish speaking people. In contemporary U.S. society, the Hispanic and Latino population is the fastest growing demographic group but formal courses in Latin American history are rarely offered in public schools. This survey course may cover topics ranging from first contact and the Columbian exchange to contemporary issues affecting Latinos in U.S. society. The course will focus on student inquiry and will include readings drawn from the fields of history, sociology, and anthropology among others.

Local History - Conard Only

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: none

This one semester course is designed as an elective to focus on West Hartford using the tools and skills of historians. Students will focus on West Hartford, Hartford, and Connecticut history. Students will read primary sources, conduct oral interviews, interpret cultural artifacts and learn to present their information in written, video and display formats. Students will gain experience working with local documents through use of The Noah Webster House and other local historical societies.

Modern Africa & the Middle East

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

Modern Africa and the Middle East focuses on contemporary events and the history of the region within the 20th and 21st Centuries. The major focus of study will include current political and social conflicts and their effects on the region and the wider world. Sample topics will include but are not limited to: Arab-Israeli relations, the Arab Spring, terrorism, and sectarian conflict. Students will be required to follow current events and the class will explore the historical roots of those events. The course will incorporate frequent classroom discussions and debates.

Modern World History

1 Credit
Grade 9
Prerequisite: None

Students in this course will analyze major people, events and themes of Modern World History from the time of the French Revolution up to the present day. Students will study the histories of Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America in this course. A major component of the course is the connecting of historical events of the past to the present day. During the year students will develop research and other 21st century skills, and will produce a comprehensive research paper as a requirement for the course.

Sociology of the Family - Conard Only

.5 Credit
Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of or concurrent enrollment in Modern World History

This course is a social history/sociology course that explores the role of the family in shaping American society as portrayed in film. Using classic and contemporary film, the class will study film analysis, family structure, the role of the father, the role of the mother, and the role of children.

United States History

1 Credit
Grade 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of Modern World History

This course will focus on important people, places, events and themes in American history from the 1880s to the present. Historical topics such as industrialization, progressivism, imperialism, the struggle for equality and American exceptionalism are introduced to illustrate how vital issues impact events across time. Students will gain experience in interpreting primary sources and in exploring and evaluating divergent viewpoints of events and individuals in American history. Students will continue to develop their research skills, and a comprehensive research paper is required to earn credit for this course.

United States History & the African American Experience

1 Credit
Grade 10-12
Prerequisite: successful completion of Modern World History

Students may elect to take this course to meet the U.S. History requirement. This course will examine the people, places, and events of U.S. History from 1870-Present. Historic topics such as Reconstruction, Industrialization, the Progressive Era, the Harlem Renaissance, the World Wars, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam and Iraq Wars will be studied and analyzed from the experience of African Americans and society at large. Students will gain experience in analyzing primary sources and in exploring and evaluating divergent viewpoints. A research paper is required.