The Social Studies Department aims to encourage and promote beliefs, behaviors and actions that enable students to become informed, responsible and contributing members of society. A knowledge, understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and global issues is a necessity not only in our school community, but also in the larger global community. Respect for others' rights and opinions, cooperation and responsibility are values crucial to the learning of Social Studies.
Students learn the connection between ideas and behavior, between the values that people hold and the consequences of those values. Events are examined from multiple perspectives and viewpoints and students to realize that the past has contributed greatly to the present, and will help shape the future.
Students gain ample opportunity to develop reading, writing, thinking, listening and speaking skills as Social Studies is taught in conjunction with the other humanities. Students explore the strands of history, geography, economics, and government in the context of internationalism and the betterment of humanity.
We believe students construct meaning best in Social Studies when they:
- develop an understanding of global issues including an awareness of relationships between the world's diverse cultures, governments, regions and economic systems.
- develop an awareness of the responsibilities and expectations of becoming members of society as well as their positive contributions to family, and the local, regional, national, and international communities.
- are able to relate Social Studies to other disciplines and be able to make personal connections to what has been learned.
- demonstrate an ability to make informed decisions by analyzing a large database of accurate information, drawing conclusions based on that information and validating those conclusions from relevant sources.
- are able to appreciate the importance of history and its influence on the contemporary world.
- appreciate and understand different perspectives.
- have opportunities to read, write, listen, speak and think in a variety of situations including an understanding of and use of maps, graphs and charts, etc.
- are able to realize the value and reliability of sources of information and understand what it means to analyze critically the sources that they are using.
- understand the importance of developing their own questions of interest, while recognizing that some questions can be answered historically while some cannot.
Social Studies teachers agree to provide opportunities for students to:
- relate lessons to current issues affecting the world and to their personal experiences in each unit of study.
- engage in collaborative work and/or simulations in order to develop writing, listening, and oral presentation skills in each unit of study.
- learn how to prepare and interpret maps, graphs and charts in each unit of study.
- make informed decisions based on factual evidence and the development of logical, critical, and analytical thinking in each unit of study.
Studnets focus on the Geography and History of Eastern Aisa and cover a variety of topics including Medieval Japan, the Modernization of Japan, the Physical Geography of China and India, the Silk Road and the Economies of SE Asia.
The year is spent looking at various aspects of Human Geography, Physical Geography and Environmental Geography as the students journey through Africa, South America and Australia.
World History I is a chronological survey of world history from the earliest civilizations, through Ancient History and the Middle Ages. The course traces the development of civilization, focusing on characteristics significant to later ages and the modern world; e.g., Greek ideas of government and philosophy, Roman ideas of law and imperialism. Themes include political change and economic development, the influence of geography, the effect of contact between cultures, artistic creativity and the growth of science and technology. The contributions of India, China and Japan to world history of this period also receive due attention. Discussion of world current affairs is integrated whenever appropriate. Lessons cover understanding sequence, identifying cause/effect relationships, distinguishing fact from opinion, differentiating viewpoints, recognizing bias and more.