Grade 9 US History
This course covers selected topics in post-revolutionary US History, focusing on major trends and developments that shaped modern America and examining political, social, and cultural history. The course begins with the Progressive Movement and closes with current topics in American society. Throughout the year, students experience a variety of historical methodologies, including chronology, cause and effect, debate, primary resources, and independent research.
Grade 10 Western Traditions
The Western Traditions course follows the development of European history, culture and thought from ancient Greece up through the French Revolution. Taking a more humanities based approach, the course interweaves political and economic history with art, philosophy, and theater. Public speaking and debate skills are focused on throughout the year, and help students to be more involved than in a standard lecture-based class. Topics include the Middle Ages and the power of the Christian Church, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the rise of modern democracy.
Students who have demonstrated strong academic skills in US History may be placed in Western Traditions/Honors. This course follows the curriculum of Western Traditions, but in greater depth and relies more heavily on primary sources.
Grade 11 The Modern World
Similar to the Western Traditions course, The Modern World course looks at more than political and economic history, as art, philosophy, and sociology all help to give students a more complete picture of the past 200 years. The course begins by looking at industrialization, comparing how it changed Europe in the 19th century to how it is currently changing much of the developing world. Other topics include WWI and WWII, Imperialism, the Cold War, post-imperial Africa and Asia, and the rise of China as a world power. The end of the year is spent on a major project that includes both a written portion and an oral defense.
The Modern World/Honors
Students who have demonstrated strong academic skills in previous Upper School History courses may be placed in The Modern World/Honors. This course follows the curriculum of The Modern World, but in greater depth and relies more heavily on primary sources.
Advanced Placement US History (not offered 2012-2013)
Students who have demonstrated a strong background in previous history courses and have good writing skills may be placed in this Advanced Placement class. This course is a chronological study of US History from colonization to modern times; there is a strong emphasis on essay-writing, both free response and document based. The course is designed to prepare students to succeed on the national Advanced Placement US History Exam given in May.
Text: The American Pageant (Houghton Mifflin)
Advanced Placement US Government and Politics
Students who have demonstrated a strong background in previous history courses and have good writing skills may be approved for this Advanced Placement class. This course is an in-depth, topical study of the formation and structure of the Federal Government, its relationship to local and state governments, and the development and workings of our modern political system. There is a strong emphasis on essay writing, both free response and document based. The course is designed to prepare students to succeed on the national Advanced Placement US Government and Politics Exam given in May.
Anthropology (elective semester course)
This elective semester course is intended to be a survey of cultural anthropology. It begins with an introduction to the many disciplines in Anthropology and briefly looks at the field of primatology. From there the course covers the general concept of culture and looks at its many manifestations: communication and language; class, race and ethnicity; sex and gender; marriage and the family; psychology; the arts; and culture shock and change. A number of films supplement the texts. Books read include Anthropology by Gene Boteler and Mary Boteler, Mirror for Humanity by Conrad Phillip Kottak, and Cultural Sketches: Case Studies in Anthropology by Holly Peters-Golden.
World Religions (elective semester course)
This course is intended to be a survey of world religions. The first half concentrates on the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Along with studying the beliefs and practices of these religions, the course will explore the historical ties and theological similarities that bind the three religions, and examine the impact they have had on Western thought. The second half of the course is an exploration of primal religions and Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism). The course concludes by looking at the New Age movement.
Text: World Religions, A Voyage of Discovery (St. Mary’s Press)