Social Studies Department Curriculum

Social studies encourages students to open their minds to the world around them.

The social studies curriculum at Presentation provides students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world scenarios and to understand their own lives in a broader social context.

Social Studies Courses

Honors World History, Cultures and Geography (A/B)

Grade: 9
Credits: 10
Prerequisite:
90% percentile in reading on HSPT

The content of the course is similar to the World History, Cultures, and Geography A & B course. Students will use a college text and supplementary primary source readings to gain a deeper and more analytical understanding of historical events and their impact.

World History, Cultures and Geography (A/B)

Grade: 9
Credits: 10

World History, Cultures, and Geography is a two semester course required for all ninth grade students. The course is designed chronologically to give an overview of significant social, economic, political and religious events which have influenced society today. The contributions of major civilizations, movements, and historical persons will be emphasized. Materials are designed to instill in students an understanding of the past and its people and a realization of how each has contributed to the present. The first semester of the course will cover the beginning of civilization through the industrial revolution and imperialism, and the second semester will explore World War I through the end of the Cold War.

United States History (A/B)

Grade: 10
Credits: 10

In the first semester this course will present a broad chronological framework beginning with early fights for Independence and nation building; the division and reconstruction of the nation; the territorial and economic growth of the nation; and the movement to reform internal affairs and imperialize others. In the second semester the course content examines the role of the U.S. as a growing international power and this effect on the global community. Efforts will be made to address current political controversies. The diversity of religious, and minority groups and their contributions both voluntary and forced to the development of the nation are a major emphasis of this course as will major social, political, economic and international events. There is scaffolded skills development culminating in projects that require analysis, synthesis and research.

AP United States History

Grade: 10
Credits: 10
Prerequisite:
B- or better in each semester of Honors World History or B+ in each semester of World History

This course will present a broad chronological study of United States history from discovery through the present day. The areas of concentration include historical, political and economic history studied from a variety of perspectives in order to present a balanced view of history. This course is taught at the college level. The expectations for reading and writing are rigorous. In addition, students will analyze, synthesize and evaluate primary and secondary historical sources in addition to memorizing, comprehending and applying facts.

Civics

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5

This course fulfills the state requirement for one half year of American government and is designed to acquaint students with an understanding of the fundamentals of government and their role as citizens. Topics will include public opinion and political ideologies, the role of political parties and interest groups, how democratic elections work, philosophic foundations of governments, political institutions and public policy. Current political events will be made relevant for each individual unit. Emphasis will be on the American system of democracy and citizen involvement in the political process, as well as active participation by the students in some aspect of the political process will be required.

AP American Government

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5
Prerequisite:
B+ or better in each semester of U.S. History or B- in each semester of AP U.S. History

This course is designed for the above average Social Studies student. The subject area, while similar to our Civics classes, will be elevated to the Advanced Placement level by exploring each topic in more depth and including additional topics such as the federal budget and bureaucracy. Students will read primary sources and news periodicals to examine and apply current events. Students will be prepared to take the AP U.S. Government Exam at the end of the course.

Economics

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5
Since economic activities touch every individual, it is important that each person has an understanding of the functions of our economy. The course is designed to introduce economics as a discipline and help the student realize she is a part of the economic system. This course will introduce the basic principle of economics and the fundamental operations of the American economic system of free enterprise. It will examine the relationship between government and the economy. The course will examine the constantly changing U.S. economy in the context of global economics. The course will also critically examine socio-economic issues like inequality and minimum wage. Debates and application of economic concepts will supplement text materials. The purpose of the course is to prepare young women to make intelligent and informed decisions within the context of political and economic systems.

AP Macroeconomics

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5
Prerequisite:
B unweighted Social Studies GPA or C+ in each semester of APUSH, or AP Gov or AP Psych

AP Macroeconomics provides students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. This course places particular emphasis on measuring economic indicators like the GDP, unemployment, and inflation, and creating and developing policy practices that respond to the current state of those indicators using macroeconomic theories. AP Macroeconomics involves case studies, mathematical and graphical analysis of macroeconomic theories, and real-life application of macroeconomic concepts.

Global Women's Issues

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5

This semester length course is designed to explore the impact of political, economic, religious, and social institutions on the role of women around the world. Students will study the experiences of women from different countries through a variety of themes. The study of these women’s issues will begin with a historical overview of the experience of its women. This will be followed by an in-depth look at the current gender inequity issues faced by the women in that culture. This course is taught on rotation with Modern History.

Modern History

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5

This course will focus on the history of the world since 1945. Special emphasis will be placed on the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The course will trace common themes of history such as the impact of the Cold War and ethnic conflict, to help students explore the people, historical turning points, and current issues of specific countries. By the end of the course, students will research and explain the cultural, religious, political, and historic background of current events and conflicts, as well as, evaluate and propose potential solutions. This course is taught on rotation with Global Women's Issues.

Psychology

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 5

This one-semester survey course is structured to introduce the principles of psychology to the high school student. It is designed to help students understand the depth of human behavior and apply this knowledge to their own lives. The course consists of a sequence of units designed to achieve these goals through ongoing, project based unit assessments that emphasize research, analysis and practical application. Areas of study include: human development, memory and learning theory, health psychology, social psychology, and major psychological disorders.

AP Psychology

Grade: 11, 12
Credits: 10
Prerequisite:
B unweighted Social Studies GPA or C+ in each semester of APUSH, or AP Gov or AP Macro

AP Psychology is a yearlong course. It is structured to introduce the principles of psychology to the high school student. It is designed to help students understand the depth of human behavior, learn to conduct research and begin to explain human interaction.

This course will consist of a sequence of units designed to achieve the above stated goals. Areas of study will include: Social Psychology; Motivation, Emotion and Health Psychology; Neuroscience; Life Span Development Psychology; Learning, Memory and Intelligence theory; Research methodologies and statistical skills necessary for ethical research; Sensation and Perception; Personality theories; and Psychopathology and the Treatments of mental illness.

The expectation will be that a student can read supportive information through articles, studies and research. She will also be required to do a semester research project and in the second semester, develop and conduct her own unique research.

Sociology of Media

Grade: 11-12
Credits: 5

When we study sociology, we are studying ourselves. Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts. This course specifically surveys the interaction between society and popular media, including the rise in popularity of social networking, texting, the internet, TV, print, and radio. Sociology and the Media examines how these media industries are organized, regulated by competition and technology, and play significant political and cultural roles in contemporary society. We address the consumers of mass media products and inspect how they utilize and are affected by media content and how content is driven by consumers.