Social Studies Department

It is the goal of the Social Studies Department to provide every student with the knowledge required for active participation in the democratic process. The program emphasizes global awareness, development of the political, economic and social institutions of the United States and our present day relationship with the nations of our global community.  The learner will be provided with the tools required for good citizenship in today’s ever changing world.  Courses utilize the Smart Board multi-media technology to display class notes on PowerPoint as well as charts, maps, pictures, video, and internet websites for analysis and enrichment.

World History I

111 – World History I, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive survey of world history from prehistory through the early global age, helping them to understand the forces that have shaped past events and the continuing themes that extend across our history.  Topics will include early river valley civilizations such as Egypt and China; the legacies of ancient Greece and Rome; regional civilizations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia; medieval Europe; and the Renaissance and Reformation.  Focus will be placed on building critical thinking, reading and writing skills.

112 – World History I, College Prep Level 2 – Two Semester Course
This freshman level course will give the student a basic understanding of world history from prehistory to the Age of Exploration.  This course will provide the learner with the fundamentals of historical knowledge needed to continue his/her social studies education at Matignon High School.  Emphasis will be placed on reading, comprehension, synthesizing information, and the academic skills needed for success in social studies.  Department approval is required.

116 – World History I, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive survey of world history from prehistory through the early global age, helping them to understand the sweeping forces that have shaped past events and the continuing themes that extend across our history.  As an honors course, expectations will be high – homework and classwork will be more challenging, papers and projects will be further in-depth, and students will  be trusted to work and think more independently.  Department approval is required.

World History II

123 – World History II, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This elective for sophomore adds to the themes explored in the freshman year.  Major topics include the Enlightenment and Revolution (1700-1850); Industrialization and a New Global Age (1800-1914); World Wars and Revolution (1910-1955); concluding with an analysis of the world from 1945 to the present.  Emphasis will be placed on document based assessment, comprehension, synthesizing information and developing academic skills.  Throughout the course connections are made with culture, science & technology; government, economics and geography. 

127 – World History II, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
As in College Prep I, this Honors sophomore course will explore and study the same major themes.  A greater emphasis will be placed on out of class research and reading primary sources.  Students will be expected to complete written and oral presentations. Analytical skills will be stressed. Department approval is required.
 

Advanced Placement World History

128 – Advanced Placement World History, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
In this college-level Advanced Placement course, students will be challenged to view world history though five overarching themes over six larger time periods.  Summarized by the acronym SPICE – social, political, interaction between humans and the environment, cultural, and economic – this thematic focus will allow students to compare specific ideas, events, and societies across the entirety of world history.  Analysis of both primary historical evidence and supplementary secondary documents will be stressed as students prepare for the AP examination in May.  Department approval is required.

United States History

130 – United States History, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This United States History Level 1 course surveys the development of the United States from the colonial period through America's transition from an isolationist nation into a global superpower.  It highlights democracy in the Early Republic and the growth of the country during the antebellum years. The course further outlines the effects of industrialization and global expansion abroad, culminating in the United States' involvement in 20th century world conflicts.  Students will interact with primary and secondary source documents to further enhance their understanding of United States history.  Finally, students will be encouraged to apply and connect their historical knowledge to the current events of today.   

135 – United States History, College Prep Honors – Two Semester Course
This United States History Honors level course surveys the development of the United States from the colonial period through America's transition from an isolationist nation into a global superpower.  It highlights democracy in the Early Republic and the growth of the country during the antebellum years. The course further outlines the effects of industrialization and global expansion abroad, culminating in the United States' involvement in 20th century world conflicts.  Students will be expected to engage in original research on selected topics throughout the year.  This course will challenge students to read and analyze primary and secondary source documents and to expand their knowledge of United States History in a critical fashion.  Finally, students will be encouraged to apply and connect their historical knowledge to the current events of today.  Department approval is required.

Advanced Placement United States History

137 – Advanced Placement United States History, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
This college level course covers the history of the United States from its colonial days to the modern era.  It challenges students to do college work, as they learn to develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.  Particular attention will be given to outside reading, the analysis of primary source documents, and writing both FRQ and DBQ essays. Upon completion of the course, students will be required to take the AP exam in May.  Admission requires departmental approval.

Law

147 – Law, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This course will provide an understanding of practical law (criminal, civil, consumer, family, and housing) which will be of use to students in their everyday lives.  A better understanding of law will lead to the development of a more positive attitude on the part of students as active citizens in a democratic society.  An analysis of case law and film will provide the opportunity for the student to improve analytical and critical thinking skills.  Students will have the opportunity to observe the judicial system in action as well as take part in mock trial simulations.

Psychology

133 – Psychology, College Prep Level 1 – Two Semester Course
This elective is designed to introduce students to the scientific principles of human behavior.  Students will be exposed to the various domains of psychology including cognition, human development, personality, and mental disorders.  Through introspection and discussion, students will develop a better understanding of their self and others.  Students will actively engage in demonstrations and research, in addition to analyzing case studies.  Emphasis will be placed on discovering how and why humans change over the course of life, as well as why humans stay the same.


 

Advanced Placement Psychology

139 – Advanced Placement Psychology, College Prep Advanced Placement – Two Semester Course
This course follows the APA guidelines  for Advanced Placement Psychology and students who elect it are required to take the AP exam in May.  Students with demonstrated ability and the approval of the teacher and department head may elect this course.  Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.  Areas covered include: history of psychology; research methods; sensation and perception; cognitive psychology; physical, social, and emotional development; abnormal behavior and therapies; social psychology; and gender differences. Careers in the field will be explored. In addition to the text, students will summarize and analyze journal articles, case histories, and experiments. Departmental approval is required.

Contemporary Issues

149 - Contemporary Issues, College Prep Honors - Two Semester Course
This senior elective course will focus on significant contemporary issues facing the United States and the impact they have on its global affairs.  The course will begin by discussing the rise and fall of communism during the Cold War, and then address the social implications of the Civil Rights movement and its aftermath.  Additional units will include an in-depth study of the political, economic, and social consequences of the Vietnam War and conflicts in the Middle East, as well as current events surrounding the War on Terror, climate change, and immigration.  Students will be expected to analyze primary and secondary source documents in conjunction with various forms of media.  Finally, students will engage in critical thinking, discussion, and collaborative work as they seek to connect what they are learning to their daily lives.