Social Studies

 

In order for a democratic system to survive, citizens must maintain a level of participation in public life and have a general concern for the common good.  Effective social studies programs prepare students to responsibly address the forces that pull our society apart and hold it together.  We look to the past in order to benefit the future.  Through social studies, students will understand that which has combined to influence the course of humanity and learn how conflict and struggle were resolved, how tolerance was promoted, and how they may be able to improve social growth.

 

WORLD HISTORY

World History is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the start of different civilizations and the growth of cultures throughout the world.  Beginning with Prehistory and Stone Age people, a wide variety of civilizations are studied leading up to the Renaissance and Reformation.  Examples of topics covered include: Ancient Egypt (7000 B.C. - 30 B.C.), Ancient India and China (2500 B.C.), Ancient Greece (2000 B.C. - 133 B. C.), Ancient Rome (509B.C. - 180 B.C.), Ancient Africa and the Americas (3000 B.C. - 1532 B.C.), as well as Sumerian Civilizations and Medieval Times. Along with tests and quizzes, students are required to complete two research projects throughout the year.  Current events are also incorporated into the curriculum and comparisons are made to ancient times with today’s society.

TEXTBOOK: World History, Patterns of Interaction (Holt, McDougal, Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt

 

WORLD HISTORY HONORS

World History Honors is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the start of different civilizations and the growth of cultures throughout the world.  Beginning with Prehistory and Stone Age people a wide variety of civilizations are studied leading up to the modern world.  Students will begin this one year course studying the four ancient river valley civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Indus Valley).  The curriculum will take students through the Greek and Roman Empires, studying governmental structures, the impact of geography and the lasting influence of these ancient civilizations in our modern world.  Important events following the fall of Rome will be highlighted in this course, including the Crusades, the feudal system in Europe, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution.  Moreover, students will understand the final breakdown of feudalism with the French Revolution.  The fourth marking period will introduce students to the modern era, beginning with the development of European countries, such as Germany and Italy and eventually leading an in-depth discussion of the world wars from a world history perspective.  To enhance learning, students will focus on primary source documents, technology-based learning and critical reading assignments.  In preparation for the advanced levels of high school history, students are expected to learn the principals of formal, research-based writing.

 

UNITED STATES HISTORY I

The course explores the beginnings of civilization in our hemisphere with the emphasis on the United States. The course begins with a review of the early South American cultures and will work through the Explorations and the Early Colonization Period.  The development of self-government will be examined followed by a study of the American Revolution, our first attempts at unification, and their effect upon the framing of the U. S. Constitution.  The formation of political parties and the rise of Nationalism and Sectionalism will be researched as to how they impacted upon the causes of the Civil War.  The course ends with the Reconstruction Period and the opening of the West.

TEXTBOOK: The Americans (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)

 

UNITED STATES HISTORY II

Beginning with the post Civil War Reconstruction Era, this course provides students with an overview of the period in U. S. history from 1865 through the present.  Emphasis is placed on historical interpretation in the form of analytical writing.  Students will be asked to apply current issues and statutes to historically significant events in order to better understand the development of the United States as an advanced industrial society.  Students will focus on issues such as Industrialization, Urbanization, Imperialism, and Radicalism.  They will also analyze particular periods/events in history, including the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Cold War Era while paying particular attention to the social and governmental forces at work within American society.

TEXTBOOK: The Americans (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT U. S. HISTORY (I & II)

The Advanced Placement History program is a two-year, comprehensive survey of American history from the time of initial discovery through the present day.  Students are required to complete extensive independent research in order to enhance classroom discussion.  Emphasis is placed on historical analysis as well as advanced writing skills in order to better prepare students for college-level work.  Upon completion of the Advanced Placement program, all students are required to take the College Board Advanced Placement U.S. History Exam and are required to pay the fee for the test.

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT U. S. HISTORY I

Part one of the Advanced Placement program is taken during a student’s Junior year in place of the standard U. S. History I class.  Beginning with the “Age of Discovery” and the period of initial discovery by Columbus, the course establishes the foundation of U. S. History and analyzes the issues and problems that the U. S. encountered during its infancy.  Students are asked to analyze primary source documents that pertain to the relevant period and incorporate these documents in their writing.  Emphasis is placed on political and governmental challenges associated with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War.  Analysis of how the republic evolved through the period of Jacksonian Democracy will also be a major focus of this first year.  This survey concludes with the post Civil War Reconstruction period and the problems facing late Nineteenth Century America.

TEXTBOOK: The American Pageant (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)

 

ADVANCED PLACEMENT U. S. HISTORY II

The second section of Advanced Placement U. S. History is to be taken during the student’s Senior year and continues with the same format and independent structure as Advanced Placement U. S. I.  Beginning with the era of westward expansion and the industrial boom following the Civil War, students will cover the period from 1865 through the present.  This course provides an in-depth study of social issues that were pertinent during the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries.  Students will be asked to assess the relevance of historical issues in modern society and will better understand the evolution of the United States from a “disjointed” union to the world’s premier industrial power.

TEXTBOOK: The American Pageant (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)

 

CURRENT ISSUES

This course will examine local, state, national, and international events through the use of newspapers, magazines, documentaries and films.  The classroom will be a forum for discussion and an open exchange of ideas.  The goal of the class is to enlighten students about the world in which they live.  Current Issues will include the study of past historical events so that students will understand how the past effects the future.

 

ECONOMICS

This course will give the students a better understanding of economics ranging from the viewpoint of the individual consumer or small business owner to the global economy. Topics included the law of supply and demand, forms of business, labor unions, government finances and influence on the economy, money and prices, inflation and deflation cycles.  Additionally, the course relates history and politics to the study of economics.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

This course is a classic approach to the study of human behavior.  It is an in-depth look at the theories of learning, mental disorder and dream interpretation.  Behavior modification and stimulation – response mechanics are discussed in great detail.  It will entail the phase of learning and cognition, motivation and emotion, stages of development, and therapy and treatment.

TEXTBOOK: Psychology Today (Amsco Publishers)

 

SOCIOLOGY

This course focuses on human relationships in society.  Emphasis is placed on a sociological point of view to examine culture, social structure, the individual in society, social institutions and social inequalities.  The changing social world and its implications are presented and analyzed so students become aware of the social forces that shape their views of the world.

TEXTBOOK: Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach (Pearson)

4 Reasons to Attend

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Academic Excellence

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Leadership Training

Athletic Distinction

 

Saint Mary High School

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Saint Mary High School

64 Chestnut St, Rutherford, NJ 07070

Phone: 201-933-5220 | Fax: 201-933-0834

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