Social Studies Courses

Social Studies Department Placement Guidelines

  1. Teacher recommendation is the method of placement for Social Studies classes. Testing results (STAR Assessment) will be used to assist in specific course placement.
  2. Placement in the Honors Social Studies Program is by departmental recommendation only. In order to maintain Honors Placement, students must earn an 80 or better in both semesters of the previous Honors Social Studies Course and score at or above grade level on the STAR Assessment. In order to move to Honors, students must earn a 90 or better in both semesters in the previous College Prep Course and score at or above grade level on the STAR Assessment.

Sequences

Honors Sequence

 9th Grade:  World History I 
10th Grade:  World History II 
11th Grade Honors US History* /A.P. United States History 
12th Grade A. P. European History/A.P. Psychology

*Civics must be taken one semester (9, 10, 11, or 12) in order to graduate

Standard/College Prep Sequence

9th Grade World Cultures I 
10th Grade World Cultures II 
11th Grade United States History* 
12th Grade Electives 

*Civics must be taken one semester (9, 10, 11, or 12) in order to graduate

600371 - World Cultures I (Gr. 9)  

World Cultures emphasizes the understanding of cultures from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Cultures can be grouped socially, ethnically or racially, religiously or geographically. This course points out these differences within the context of the modern nation-state. While people have basic physical and psychological needs, world cultures explores how laws, customs, social codes and institutions influence behavior. Specific cultures studied may vary due to the interest of the teacher and students in a given semester. Units normally include China, India, Japan, Africa, and the Middle East.  If time permits, shorter units on other countries and cultures may be included.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 1
Grade: 9
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0

600381–  World History I- Honors (Gr. 9)

World History emphasizes the understanding of cultures from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Cultures can be grouped socially, ethnically or racially, religiously or geographically. This course points out these differences within the context of the modern nation-state. While people have basic physical and psychological needs, world history explores how laws, customs, social codes and institutions influence behavior. Specific cultures studied may vary due to the interest of the teacher and students in a given semester. Units normally include China, India, Japan, Africa, and the Middle East.  If time permits, shorter units on other countries and cultures may be included. This course will require extensive reading and writing

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation. (90 or better in 8th grade history, STAR assessment grade level)
Credit: 1
Grade: 9
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600372 - World Cultures II (Gr. 10) 

World Cultures emphasizes the understanding of cultures from both a historical and contemporary perspective. Cultures can be grouped socially, ethnically or racially, religiously or geographically. This course points out these differences within the context of the modern nation-state. While people have basic physical and psychological needs, world cultures explores how laws, customs, social codes and institutions influence behavior. Specific cultures studied may vary due to the interest of the teacher and students in a given semester. Units normally include Europe and Latin America.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 1
Grade: 10
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0

600382 - World History II- Honors (Gr. 10) 

This historical survey studies the modern period in European history from the French Revolution through modern times. The course will follow a political, cultural, economic and social thread to understand the nature of modern day Europe. There will also be units following the political, cultural, economic and social thread to understand the nature of Latin America. This course will require extensive reading and writing.

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation. (80 or better in 9th grade honors class per semester, STAR assessment grade level)
Credit: 1
Grade: 10
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600324 - Civics

This course includes a study of American government including the development of the American democracy, the Constitution, Rights and Responsibilities of citizenship. Comparisons will be made with other forms of government both historically and those in existence today. The role of the United States in the world today will be examined. The structure of state and local government will be studied. This course is required for graduation.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grade: 9,10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600357 - United States History 1865 to present

This is a yearlong course with emphasis placed social, political, and economic development from the mid-19th century to the 21st century. The first semester begins with Westward Expansion and the development of Modern America. We will then study America’s emergence as a world power and the impact of Progressivism at home. The Semester will conclude with a study of WWI, and its connections to both Imperialism and Progressivism. Second Semester will begin with America during the interwar years, and the United States’ role during World War II. Following this, the course will survey several topics including the Origins of the Cold War, The Civil Rights Movement, Social movements, and America in the 21st Century. Extensive reading, writing, and research will be required. Particular emphasis is placed upon individual, or independent, student effort throughout the course. Extensive reading, writing, and research will be required.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 1
Grade: 11
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0

600332 – United States History - Honors

This is a yearlong course with emphasis placed social, political, and economic development from the mid-19th century to the 21st century. The first semester begins with Westward Expansion and the development of Modern America. We will then study America’s emergence as a world power and the impact of Progressivism at home. The Semester will conclude with a study of WWI, and its connections to both Imperialism and Progressivism. Second Semester will begin with America during the interwar years, and the United States’ role during World War II. Following this, the course will survey several topics including the Origins of the Cold War, The Civil Rights Movement, Social movements, and America in the 21st Century. Extensive reading, writing, and research will be required. Particular emphasis is placed upon individual, or independent, student effort throughout the course. Extensive reading, writing, and research will be required.

Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation. (80 or better in 10th grade honors class per semester, STAR assessment grade level)
Credit: 1
Grade: 11
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600337 A.P. United States History

The A.P. U.S. History course focuses on developing students’ understanding of American history from approximately 1491 to the present. The course has students investigate the content of U.S. history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. The course also provides seven themes (American and national identity; migration and settlement; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; geography and the environment; and culture and society) that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places. There will be required reading to complete over the summer prior to the start of the course

Prerequisite: AP Teacher Approval. (90 or above in 10th grade Honors)
Credit: 1
Grade: 11
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.1

600354 - A.P. European History

The Advanced Modern European History course deals with the facts, ideas, events and personalities, which have shaped Europe’s history from approximately 1450 to the present. The journey through Europe’s rich and diverse history takes the student from the tragedy of the Bubonic plague at the end of the Medieval Period to the establishment of contemporary Europe. Units of study will include the Renaissance and Reformation, the age of Absolutism, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleonic Europe, the rise of popular political ideologies (the “isms”) and the Revolutions of 1848 leading to the emergence of nation states, the Age of Industrial and International expansion preceding World War I, the World Wars, the Cold War and current issues. Within the frameworks of a chronological analysis, attention will also be given to unifying themes in intellectual and cultural history, political and diplomatic history, as well as social and economic history. There is an option to take the AP test at the end of the course.

Prerequisite: AP Teacher Approval. (90 or above in U.S. History Honors)
Credit: 1
Grade: 12
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.1

600343 - The Law

The student will examine the structure, history and leading principles of the American Legal System. An overview of criminal and civil law will prepare the student on court proceedings, lawyer etiquette, argumentative writing, advocacy techniques, plea agreements and jury selection. Two in-class mock trials will culminate each unit on criminal and civil law. This course will also explore American Law Schools, while subsequently highlighting the path toward becoming a lawyer in the United States. A field trip to the Legislative Office Building and the Supreme Court of Connecticut in Hartford will be included.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12 
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600345 - Introduction to Psychology

The student will be afforded the opportunity to survey the major principles that surround human behavior. An overview of the history of psychology, psychological frameworks and their accompanying psychologist, human development, social interaction, learning and motivation will be examined. The student will develop an analytical skill set to identify the basic biological, mental and social aspects of personality. This course prepares the student to explore psychology at the honors level.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600356  A.P. Psychology

The student will examine the relationship between psychological processes and human behavior. Biological and cognitive research will provide the student an investigative approach to determining, evaluating and treating psychological disorders and abnormal behavior. Personality theories, emotion, psychological testing and individual differences will be assessed. After completing Introduction to Psychology and A.P. Psychology, the student is encouraged to sit for the A.P. Psychology Exam in May.

Prerequisite: 80 or above in Introduction to Psychology (600345), or under specific circumstances, instructor approval for seniors
Credit: 1
Grades: 11, 12
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.1

600348 - Introduction to Sociology

Sociology is the scientific study of the patterns of human group life, how and why groups form and relate to each other, how they change, and the ways in which they affect their members. This course aims to study the development of man as a social person. Topics will include the organization of social life, social institutions, demographic trends, and selected social problems that confront the modern world. The student will be afforded the opportunity to learn about the group process by working in and assessing the quality of his participation in a variety of small group situations.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600349 - Economics 

Economics is the study of wealth and how people manage their resources to satisfy their needs. The course is designed to involve students in the practical everyday world of making intelligent decisions in money management. It stresses the necessity for planned spending and saving to achieve and maintain personal economic stability and security. Through study and discussion, each student will have a better understanding of the economic forces that will shape his or her life today and in the future.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grades: 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600347 - Ancient Cultures and Civilizations

This course will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era, about 2.5 million years ago, and finishing with the Rise of Islam. We will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time—from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations. Students will rely upon textbook readings to provide historical overviews of particular civilizations and then utilize primary-source documents and activities to illuminate the unique features of these individual societies. Students will possess a thorough understanding of important overarching social, political, religious, and economic themes in the ancient world. Students will also understand how many aspects of these ancient civilizations continue to remain relevant in today’s world.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600350 - World Revolution and Ethnic Conflict 

This course examines the cultural, social, political, and economic developments of the last 230 years. This course is taught through discussions, debates, and student - teacher interaction. This course aims to explore the ways that the study of history is useful to all of us and will allow the student to gain a broader understanding on how events in the world both in the past and present effect society. We will use history as a tool to develop the essential skills of critical reading, analysis, formation of arguments, and effective communication, both written and oral. Possible themes that we will be focusing on: Revolution, Imperialism, Global Conflict, and Modern Globalization. Possible topics will include: Russian Revolution, Vietnamese Revolution, Cambodian Genocide, Iranian Revolution, Ethnic Conflict, Northern Ireland, Sudan, and The Balkans.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: .5
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600358 - American History through Film

American History through Film is a course that examines Hollywood feature films and historical dramas as historical evidence. Students will view movies on various topics, and they will participate in Socratic seminar discussions, while writing essays comparing film evidence to information in more traditional sources, such as articles, film reviews and critical commentaries. Topics studied will range from the American Revolution to the Nixon Administration.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: .5
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0

600391 - Women’s Studies (Co-taught English/Social Studies)

This is an introductory, comparative, and interdisciplinary course offered by the English and Social Studies departments in which students will study the diverse status of women both past and present.  The course will examine literature, social institutions, intellectual history, and the contributions of women to science, art, and other disciplines. There will be close examination of the ways in which race, ethnicity, class, and gender, as well as society, economy, culture, and politics shape the complex experiences of women. The course will also explore the history of women’s activism and participation in social and political movements.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: .5
Grade: 10, 11, 12
Length: 1 semester
Weight: 1.0