Social Studies Course Information Sheets
Course Description: Politics are the questions and conflicts that arise over how society is set up and governed. Civics is a one-semester class dedicated to investigating the key political issues facing the United States, from the local to the global. Students and teacher alike are invited to actively grapple with these issues, to determine how they are connected to the system of power in the US. This leads us into an exploration of the principles, institutions, and practices of the US government, as well as other sources of power in our society. We will look at various data in order to better understand how the system of power affects us with specific focus on our civil and human rights. We also look at how we, in turn, affect and can either successfully adapt to the system (assimilation) or potentially transform the system (reform or revolution).
In particular, along with current political events, the class addresses the development and meaning of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; understanding the role and connections of the Courts and the governmental process; the roles and influence of the legislative, executive and “bureaucratic” branches of the government; the connections between “politics”, “economics”, and “culture”; and the specific dynamics of the media in shaping our perceptions of ourselves, the US, and the world. The course is designed to actively address the goals of all 7 Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs).
● Increased knowledge about the causes and effects of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and the Cold War.
● Greater awareness of current global issues including terrorism, the effects of climate change, and geopolitics.
● Improved analytical reading and writing skills.
● Improved comfort and ability to analyze visual images including political cartoons and visual pieces of propaganda.
● Improved communication skills in an academic setting.
● Understand the relationship between sustained, focused academic work ethic and academic success.
Course Description: Economics is a one semester course for high school seniors. It will integrate material and skills that students have learned in other courses. These include basic algebra, research, writing, computers, presentations, and history. The course is designed to meet and exceed the standards set forth by the California State Board of Education for Grade Twelve Principles of Economics Education.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand major economic concepts
- Describe the evolution of the US economy over the past 300 years
- Identify the policy instruments available to the US government
- Experience the basic concepts of corporate economics
- Apply these understandings to the stock market
- Integrate the above to be able to analyze industry activity in the operation of the US economy
Course Description: The AP program allows students to be challenged by college-level curriculum while still in high school. The purpose of European History Advanced Placement is to develop historical reasoning and historical disciplinary practices as students examine major developments and historical themes in western society
● Use and think about maps and spatial data.
● Understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places.
● Recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes.
● Define regions and evaluate the regionalization process.
● Characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
Additional academic development goals include:
o Improved analytical reading and writing skills.
o Improved foundation for success in future secondary and collegiate coursework.
o Introduction to college-level reasoning and content.
o Understand the relationship between sustained, focused academic work ethic and academic success.
o Students who score high enough on the College Board AP Exam may be eligible for college credit.
Course Description: MicroEconomics AP satisfies the California State Standards requirement for a course in Economics as a requisite for high school graduation. In addition, the course prepares students to take and pass the College Board Advanced Placement examination in MicroEconomics and receive college credit for their work.
Course Description: Psychology is a one semester course that seeks to explain why people behave the way they do. It will integrate material and skills that students have learned in other courses. These include basic math, research, writing, computers, presentations, and history. The course is designed to meet and exceed the standards set forth by the California State Board of Education for Psychology.
Course Description: The purpose of the AP course in Psychology is to introduce the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Included is a consideration of the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. This course aims to provide a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses.
Course Description: “AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behavior. They also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments.”
Course Description: Students will learn the history of the United States, with a focus on the Twentieth Century, and the development of US ideals of revolution, opportunity, liberty, equality, and diversity. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the political, economic, and social context of
● Reconstruction and expansion
● Industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and Progressive reform
● The rise of the United States as a world power
● The complexities of the 1920s
● The Great Depression and the New Deal
● US participation in World War II
● The US in the post-World War II world
● Movements for equality
● Contemporary US society