• Social Studies Program Overview

    The Secondary Social Studies Program provides the student with skills and knowledge related to the American experience of western and non-western development in order for the student to assume responsibility as a member of our global society. Grades seven and eight prepare students for the high school experience by focusing on the reading, writing, and thinking skills necessary to further their education. The courses offered in grades nine through eleven meet the state requirements for graduation. The twelfth-grade offering, all electives, are the capstone of the program, enabling student to select areas of study that are of personal interest and value to their post-high school plans. State College Area School District requires students to earn four social studies credits by the end of their senior year.

    Scope and Sequence
     
    Grade 7: American History
    The 7th grade American History course begins with the development of the United States Constitution following the American Revolution. The course ends with the closing of the frontier and the rise of industrialization and urbanization in America.  (1790's-1890's)
     
    Students will use skills of historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthen the union.  Students will continue to learn fundamental concepts in government, economics, and geography as they student U.S. history in chronological sequence.  The students will reflect on the significance of historical events and their influence on the present.  They will also study documents and speeches that laid the foundation of American ideals and institutions.  Active reading skills, study strategies and research skills will be taught and practiced as the students investigate historical American themes.
     
    Grade 8: Civics and Economics
     
    Civics and Economics: Civic and economic education is essential for active participation by informed citizens. The civics part of the course will emphasize a study of government and individual rights and responsibilities. Students will explore the structure of the federal government, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, and the organization of state and local governments. Students will develop the skills to make informed decisions, to resolve conflicts peacefully, to articulate and defend positions, and to engage in the civic and political life of their communities.
     
    The economics part of the course will enable students to demonstrate an understanding of basic economic concepts. Students will become familiar with the economic system of the United States and how it operates. They will also explore the roles of various components of the American economic system. Students will examine their roles as consumer, worker, investor and voting citizen.
     

     
    Grade 9: World History I
    Early Civilizations to 1450


    World History I (1.0 credit)

    World History 1, the first course in the two-year program in World History, focuses on building geography skills, expanding cultural awareness, and examining the study of the history and humanity from the first civilizations to 1450.  Students explore the development of civilization and religions up to the Middle Ages.  They participate in a variety of activities including discussions, large- and small-group projects, research, and oral presentations.  This course strives to provide students with the skills and knowledge to become responsible citizens in a global society.

    Advanced World History I (1.0 credit)

    This course is designed for academically motivated and self-reliant students who desire a challenging course of study in history and the social sciences.  It is the first course in the World History program.  The content includes the study of places, events and people that affected the history of the world from the earliest humans to about 1500 C.E.  Areas to be studied include the ancient civilizations of Egypt, the Middle East, India, China, Greece, Rome, the Islamic world, Europe,Africa, and the Americas.  Students are actively engaged in creating their own understanding of the time period with emphasis on research, writing, and reading skills.  This course has a balance of research-and project-oriented experiences as well as opportunities for individual and group activities.

     
    Grade 10: World History II
    1450 to Present Day

     
    World History II (1.0 credit)

    World History 2, the second course in the World History program, focuses on building geography skills, expanding cultural awareness, and examining the study of the history of humanity from 1450 through the present day.  This course covers world history from the Renaissance through to modern-day Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. Students participate in a variety of activities including discussions,large- and small-group projects, individual projects, and oral presentations.  Research and writing skills are stressed, with particular attention given to the development and refinement of skills in research organization, application of traditional library and on-line resources, and appropriate use of presentation software.  The course strives to provide students with the skills and knowledge to become responsible citizens in a global society.

    Advanced World History II (1.0 credit)

    This course is designed for academically motivated and self-reliant students who desire a challenging course of study in history and the social sciences.  It completes the two-year World History program.  Topics include geography,cultural awareness, and an in-depth study of world history from 1450 through the present day.  The course covers world history from the Renaissance through modern-day Latin America, Africa,Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific.  Critical thinking and effective reading, writing, and speaking skills are emphasized. Research skills are stressed with particular attention given to the development and refinement of skills in research organization, application of traditional library and on-line resources, and appropriate use of presentation software. The course strives to provide the student with the skills and knowledge to become a responsible citizen in a global society.

    Advanced Honors World History II (1.0 credit)

    This course is designed for academically motivated, self-reliant, and responsible students who have demonstrated a deep interest in history.  It is the second course in the Advanced Honors World History program.  An in-depth study of world history, starting around 1400 C.E., is integrated with historiography,

    historical research, primary-source analysis, and document-based questions.  Emphasis is placed on historical analysis,critical thinking, and advanced reading and writing skills.  Research skills are stressed, with particular attention given to development and refinement of skills in research organization, application of traditional library and on-line resources, and appropriate use of presentation software.  This course complements Advanced Honors English 10.
     

    Grade 11: American History
     
    United States History (1.0 credit)

    This year-long 11th grade course is designed to provide students with a general understanding of the American experience in the 20thcentury.  Students examine past historical experiences as a tool for developing proposed solutions to current and practical American problems.  Included in the course is a strong emphasis on governmental and economic principles.  A heavy emphasis is placed on individual- and small-group student projects and independent study.

    College Prep United States History (1.0 credit)

    This year-long course, designed for college-bound students, begins with the rise of industrialization in the late 1800�s and continues to modern-day America.  Students study the social, political,and economic history of the United States throughout the 20th-century.  Activities include examination of primary-source documents, debates, simulations, role playing, readings, and research assignments.  Assessments include objective and essay exams, individual and small group projects,  class discussions, and research projects.

    AP United States History (1.0 credit)

    This year-long introductory college-level course in United States history prepares students for success on the optional advanced placement national exam.  Students study the social, political,and economic history of the United States chronologically from the period just prior to European contact through the late twentieth century.  Students develop their analytical history skills through extensive reading and writing assignments.  In addition, they are expected to take extensive notes in response to lectures. Assessments include objective and essay tests, a variety of homework assignments, presentations, class discussions, and research projects. This course is taught as a college-level course; consequently, students should expect reading and writing homework almost every night. A score of three (3) or higher on the A.P. exam can earn a student advanced credit at some colleges and universities.

    Grade 12:  Senior Social Studies Courses
    Students need four social studies credits to graduate. Generally, seniors will take a total of one credit from the courses listed below.  Students are not limited to one credit and may take as many social studies credits as they prefer.

    Democracy in Action (0.5 credit)

    In this semester-long senior course, students focus on American government and current issues.  The course enables students to participate effectively in civic life through the examination of national and international political, social, and economic problems.  Issues covered may include the Constitution and Bill of Rights, campaigns and elections, and controversial topics such as immigration reform, healthcare, civil rights and race relations.  Students participate in a variety of activities including group and individual projects, research, and oral presentations.

    Current Issues (0.5 credit)

    In this semester-long elective course, designed for seniors interested in practicing their role as a citizen in a democracy, students learn the skills needed to discuss contemporary political issues. Students analyze current issues, such as health care, the national debt,and education reform, and conduct problem-solving sessions to find a common ground for action in shaping public policy.  As a follow-up, students engage in a service-learning project to benefit their community.  Activities include class discussions, research, and written and oral presentations that utilize technology skills.

    Economics (0.5 credit)

    This semester-long course for college-bound seniors is designed for students who have an interest in the U.S. economic system.  Students examine the basic economic problems faced by consumers and discuss how American economic policy affects the individual,state, nation, and world. Classroom activities may include class lectures, discussion, simulation games, problem-solving activities, research, guest lectures, and presentations.

    Sociology (0.5 credit)

    In this semester-long senior course, students study human relationships in society.  The course focuses on the use of a sociological perspective to examine culture, social structure, the individual in society, social institutions, and social inequality.  Our changing global society and its implications are presented and analyzed. Students learn to apply sociological theories and research techniques to modern-day problems.  Students may participate in a variety of activities including class lectures, role-playing,discussions, field trips, problem-solving activities, simulation games,research, and class presentations.


    Psychology (0.5 credit)

    A semester-long course for juniors and seniors, Psychology is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students examine the ethical practices and responsibilities of psychological inquiry and come to an understanding of the biological,social, and cultural influences on human behavior.  Students will apply their knowledge through simulations and projects dealing with psychological situations in everyday life.  This course has a balance of research and project-oriented assignments with an emphasis on collaborative learning and discussion.  Assessments include homework assignments, large- and small- group projects, research, and oral presentations.

    Advanced Economics (0.5 credit)

    This semester-long advanced course is designed for highly motivated students who plan to continue their formal education beyond the high school level.  It explores the philosophy, history,and evolution of economic thought; the development of economic theories,models, and indicators; and the interpretation of these data and their application to present-day problems.  Student activities may include class lectures, homework, discussions, simulation games,graphing, economic-model building, problem solving, research, class presentations, and guest lectures.

    AP United States Government and Politics (0.5 credit)

    This AP semester-long course is designed for those students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the United States government.  Through the Socratic Method, students critically analyze and evaluate the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. politics.  Topics include an examination of the philosophies underpinning the U.S. Constitution, the concept of original intent, the creation and role of political parties, and contemporary political philosophies. Students are expected to read on-line notes, carry out individual- and small-group research projects and presentations, participate enthusiastically in class discussions and simulations, develop and refine essay-writing skills,and complete self-evaluations of progress.
     
    AP Comparative Government (0.5 credit)
     
     

     

    This fast-paced, semester-long advanced senior course is designed for those students interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course is a detailed study of six different world governments, determined by the AP College Board. Currently, these countries include the United Kingdom, Russia Mexico, Nigeria, Iran and China. In addition, students will examine the problems surrounding the European Union (EU).   Students are expected to read on-line notes, carry out individual and small-group research projects and presentations, participate in class discussions and simulations, develop and refine essay-writing skills. Each Friday, the students will focus on contemporary issues and current events relating to the countries in the course. Students with excellent work habits, high motivation and strong literacy skills should consider this course. It complements the A.P. American Government course but is not a prerequisite. 

     

     
    AP Early European History (0.5 credit)

    This semester-long advanced senior elective course, which focuses on the Early Modern period of European history, covers the period from the High Middle Ages to the Napoleonic Wars.  Students are expected to take lecture notes, carry out individual- and small-group research projects, participate in class discussions and analysis, develop and refine essay writing skills, give class presentations, and successfully answer both objective- and essay-test questions.  Students who plan to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May are advised to register for both semester-long courses:Advanced Placement Early European History 1450-1815 and Advanced Placement Recent European History 1815-Present. A score of three (3) or higher on this exam can earn a student advanced credit at some colleges and universities.

    AP Recent European History (0.5 credit)

    This semester-long advanced senior elective course, which focuses on recent European history, covers the period from the Napoleonic Wars through current European affairs.  Students are expected to take lecture notes, carry out individual- and small-group research projects,participate in class discussions and analysis, develop and refine essay-writing skills, give class presentations, and successfully answer both objective- and essay-test questions.  Students who plan to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May are advised to register for both semester courses: Advanced Placement Early European History 1450-1815 and Advanced Placement Recent European History 1815-Present. A score of three (3)or higher on this exam can earn a student advanced credit at some colleges and universities.


    AP Psychology (0.5 credit)

    AP Psychology, a semester-long senior course for academically motivated students,is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students are exposed to the psychological theories, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major fields within psychology. They will investigate and use various methods of psychological research in independent projects, which are required for each unit of study. Assessments include journal entries, large- and small-group projects, quizzes, tests, Document-Based-Questions,research projects, oral presentations, and web-based assignments. This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Psychology  Examination given in May.  A score of three (3) or higher on this exam can earn a student advanced credit at some colleges and universities.

     



     
     

Last Modified on September 29, 2017