• Social Science Department

    Courses


    COURSE TITLE: World History to 1500 A.D. / Geography (WH I)
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Historical development and its impact upon world cultures are central themes of World History. This course will cover history from the dawn of civilization to the “Great Convergence” (1500 A.D.). The course involves the exploration of the historical development of people, places and patterns of life from ancient times until about 1500 A.D. Students will examine the geography, economy, government, social structure, religion, technology and history of selected civilizations. Students will study the origins of much of our heritage using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, simulations, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills. Cultural emphasis is placed upon literature, art, architecture, music, religion and philosophy. Historical emphasis is placed upon such areas as comparative political, economic and social systems. Concepts stressed throughout the course are the same as those employed by all social scientists: critical thinking, analysis and interpretation. From a balanced and inclusive world history course, students may gain an appreciation both of the world’s many people and their shared humanity and common problems.

    COURSE TITLE: World History from 1500 A.D. / Geography (WH II)
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Historical development and its impact upon world cultures are central themes of World History. This course will cover history from the “Great Convergence” (1500 A.D.) to the present. Cultural emphasis is placed upon literature, art, architecture, music, religion and philosophy. Historical emphasis is placed upon such areas as comparative political, economic and social systems. Contemporary emphasis is placed upon current crises, international relations and the increasing interdependence of nations. Concepts stressed throughout the course are the same as those employed by all social scientists: critical thinking, analysis and interpretation. From a balanced and inclusive world history course students may gain an appreciation both of the world’s many peoples and of their shared humanity and common problems.

    COURSE TITLE: Pre-AP World History to1500 A.D. / Geography (WH I)
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Historical development and its impact upon world cultures are central themes of World History. This course will cover history from the dawn of civilization to the “Great Convergence” (1500 A.D.). The course involves the exploration of the historical development of people, places and patterns of life from ancient times until about 1500 A.D. Students will examine the geography, economy, government, social structure, religion, technology and history of selected civilizations. Students will study the origins of much of our heritage using texts, maps, pictures, stories, diagrams, charts, simulations, chronological skills, inquiry/research skills, and technology skills. Cultural emphasis is placed upon literature, art, architecture, music, religion and philosophy. Historical emphasis is placed upon such areas a comparative political, economic and social system. Concepts stressed throughout the course are the same as those employed by all social scientists: critical thinking, analysis and interpretation. From a balanced and inclusive world history course, students may gain an appreciation both of the world’s many people and their shared humanity and common problems. This course requires a higher level of knowledge and learning skills and thus, some differentiation. Below are suggested ways to accomplish this differentiation.

    COURSE TITLE: Advanced Placement World History
    PREREQUISITE: World History to 1500 (Pre-AP strongly recommended)
    Advanced Placement World History uses the syllabus of the College Board Advanced Placement course. . This course looks at our Earth’s geography, the history of the world, and the growth and spread and depth of world cultures and the activities of those human societies. The course prepares students to take the Advanced Placement World History Exam, which is required for AP students.

    COURSE TITLE: U.S. and Virginia History
    PREREQUISITE: None
    This course encompasses the development of American ideals and institutions through the study of major events, eras and personalities of U.S. and Virginia history from the age of exploration to the modern era. Themes which should be emphasized throughout the course include: the diverse peoples and cultures who have made up and continue to make up American society; the economic, social and cultural transformation of the U.S. from pre-industrial colonies to a highly technological, post-industrial society; the evolution of democracy in the U.S.; and the nation’s changing global role. The historical development and basic principles of the Constitution of the United States and the fundamental concepts of the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom are examined and related to everyday life.

    COURSE TITLE: Advanced Placement U.S. and Virginia History
    PREREQUISITE: World History II
    Stressing the development of factual knowledge and analytical skills necessary to deal with issues and problems in American history, this course includes an indepth analysis of major developments and assessments of historical materials, evidence and interpretations Emphasis is placed on writing skills and critical thinking. This course is equal to a full year introductory college course. Students will take the AP U.S. History examination for possible college credit.

    COURSE TITLE: United States and Virginia Government
    PREREQUISITE: None
    This course examines the structures of government and the economy in the United States. The balance and separation of power within U.S. government and the powers inherent to each branch and level are emphasized. Democratic values and responsible participation in the community are stressed throughout the course. The United States’ political and economic roles in the global community are also analyzed. Basic principles inherent in the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of Virginia, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom are examined and related to everyday life. Because of the conceptual nature of government and the constant interaction of current affairs, the manner in which the course is taught may vary greatly from year to year.

    COURSE TITLE:   Combination United States Government and Comparative Government Advanced Placement
     In AP Government students expand their ability to think clearly and carefully about social and political forces that shape their lives. Concepts which are considered include life under a political system where people are “guilty until proven innocent” and what it would be like to have an election where each office had only one candidate; these are different interpretations of “democracy.” In this class, students study the principles of government in the U.S. and the institutions and laws used to make government work. They also compare US systems and lawsto those of other countries so students can examine how different societies define “justice” and those societies’ notions of civil rights and civic responsibility. Through the examination and comparison of government systems, students develop and improve their analytical skills, and they improve their ability to think in an organized way about very complex issues that involve many different types of people, groups, and institutions. Students also improve their communication skills since government is a social topic. Students’ analytical writing and active listening skills are significantly developed as they improve their ability to participate in political debate with fairness and respect for diverse perspectives. Students have the opportunity to take the AP U.S. Government and Comparative Government Exams in May withthe possibility of earning college credit.
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    PREREQUISITE: United States History (AP Recommended)
    This course follows the syllabus of the Advanced Placement United States Government curriculum of the College Board. Emphasis is placed on developing skills that will enable students to conceptualize and explain complex issues related to individual rights and responsibilities, political parties and party politics, the system of separation of powers, and checks and balances. Instruction emphasizes analysis, synthesis and interpretation of major historical issues and documents. Course content includes a study of the structure and the framework of the government with an emphasis on the historical rationale of the principles embodied in the Construction. American foreign policy, the federal bureaucracy, economics and grass roots governments are also component parts of the curriculum. Students are helped to develop decision-making skills that are based on values inherent in our democratic society. The course textbook, supplemental reading materials, class assignments, activities and discussions are used to induce reflective thinking. Class instruction in this course is designed to prepare the student for college level study. This course is provided for students possessing excellent reading and communication skills. Students will be required to take the College Board Advanced Placement exam upon completing this course.

    COURSE TITLE: World Religions
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Fundamental foundations and historical development of religion are examined from primitive society to the present. The course emphasizes doctrines of major eastern and western religions from a social science perspective. The various regions of the world are studied in terms of religious development with emphasis on the interaction between religion and culture.

    COURSE TITLE: Economics
    PREREQUISITE: None
    This course provides an understanding of the basic principles, concepts, terminology and policies in economics. The primary focus is on the American economic system and its relationship to the goals and values of the American society. Attention is given to a basic understanding of the principles of the free enterprise system and its necessary limited government regulation. An awareness of macroeconomics and economic analysis and reasoning through the examination of such topics as scarcity, production, the market system, the essential characteristics of capitalism, supply and demand, business, labor, money and banking, the measurement of economic activity and government economic policy. Also, the relationship of government and economics will be described in terms of multiple types of economic systems. Economic issues will be stressed. This is now a required course.
     
    COURSE TITLE: AP Economics
    PREREQUISITE: None
    The microeconomic component of this AP course gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. The macroeconomic component gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. This course requires students to develop advanced skills in economic principles, and expects students to have an interest in accelerated work in this subject. Students will take two separate AP exams, one in microeconomics and one in macroeconomics.

    COURSE TITLE:  AP Human Geography
    PREREQUISTE:  None

    AP Human Geography helps students analyze the world and their relationship to it. Students learn to look for geographic causes for events in different regions, to compare geographic features and their effects on human life, and see how their lives are connected to and affected by human and geographic conditions all over the globe. In this course students write, read, discuss, and present issues of global and local importance. Students also learn about an important tool for Human Geography: GIS software. AP Human Geography prepares individuals to be part of the solution to the challenges facing humanity on Earth in the 21st Century. Students have the opportunity to take the AP Human Geography Exam in May with the possibility of earning college credit.

     
    COURSE TITLE: History and Contributions of Ethnic Groups in America
    PREREQUISITE: None
    This course primarily examines the history of ethnic groups in America. Students will focus on the experiences of these groups and their impact on American history and culture. Students will investigate the fundamental issues and the contemporary outlook for minorities in America. National and state case studies are used to help students draw conclusions. NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

    COURSE TITLE: International Relations
    PREREQUISITE: None
    This course examines modern international relations. Foreign policy is analyzed to determine successful relations and problem areas in the world today. Historical and current case studies are used to help students draw conclusions. The focus of the course is not limited to the international relations of the United States.

    COURSE TITLE: African, Asian, & Latin American Studies
    PREREQUISITE: None
    The course is designed to focus on the geography, history and cultural features of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Students will explore the vast and diverse continent of Africa. They will come to understand the huge sweep of African culture and civilization. From such great early empires as Kush, Egypt, and Zimbabwe to the growing emergence of modern African countries, students will examine the history and culture of the many peoples of this vast continent. Examining the history and development of one or more Asian countries, emphasis is placed on how tradition influences social and cultural developments. Students will learn of the vast richness and diverse nature of Asian cultures as well as the role of Asian nations historically and today. From South and Central American Indian cultures to imperialistic ventures and current problems, students will explore the role of selected Latin American countries in contemporary world affairs. Emphasis will be placed upon the relationship between Latin America and traditional powers of the Western world. Emphasis will be placed on historical development and the interaction among the Latin American states. Systems of belief are examined through primary source material. During the course, students analyze a variety of historical viewpoints and study the status of the country or countries in contemporary world politics. NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME.

    COURSE TITLE: Philosophy/World of Ideas
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Philosophy is often defined as the quest for wisdom or the systematic search for truth. In this introductory course, students will examine historical and contemporary philosophical questions and issues using a thematic approach to this discipline. Major areas of study will include Epistemology, Metaphysics and Axiology. Using this approach, students will examine fundamental questions dealing with the nature of knowledge, the nature of reality and the nature of individual and social values. In addition to the academic understanding of the discipline, students will gain an appreciation for the role that Philosophy can play in improving one’s self-awareness and enhancing one’s intellectual and creative potential.

    COURSE TITLE: Psychology
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Providing a broad, general introduction to psychology, this course will emphasize how the basic subject matter of psychology has been attained by scientific methods. This course will examine patterns and variations of human behavior and the process of human development. It will help the student see how psychological knowledge can be applied to improve the quality of life. Students will take the AP Psychology Exam in May for possible college credit.
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    COURSE TITLE: Advanced Placement Psychology
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Advanced Placement Psychology uses the syllabus of the College Board Advanced Placement course. The course provides an overview of research and methods, neuroscience, sensation, perception, states of consciousness, learning, memory, cognition, motivation, emotion, developmental psychology, testing and intelligence, personality, abnormal psychology, therapy, and social psychology.

    COURSE TITLE: Sociology/Social Global Issues
    PREREQUISITE: None
    Students examine society as the interaction of groups, how groups function, and the influence groups have on one another. Through a study of human relations, students are helped to develop a better understanding of those groups to which they belong. Through data collection and use of that data to test hypotheses and to explore sociological alternatives, both oral and written communication skills are developed and strengthened.
     
Last Modified on February 7, 2014