Social Studies

GLOBAL STUDIES & ECONOMICS  Grade: 9 (full year)

The purpose of Global Studies and Economics is to give students an understanding and appreciation of the major regions of the world, and the historical events, issues, and challenges that now unite and divide them. The course covers topics in world history from the Paleolithic era to the present. A multi-disciplinary approach to investigating human history will focus on key concepts and themes in each historical era. Political, economic, cultural, technological and social issues will be examined. The essential social studies concepts and skills in this course provide a foundation for continuing study in social studies.   Skills to be emphasized include: reading comprehension, document analysis, interpretation of diverse perspectives, critical thinking, inquiry and research, thesis formulation, and writing. Although this course will be inclusive of both topics, three quarters will be more devoted to the Global Studies concepts and one quarter will be more devoted to macro-economic concepts.

HONORS GLOBAL STUDIES & ECONOMICS  Grade 9: (full year)
Prerequisite: At least a C- in 8th grade social studies and a summer assignment

The purpose of Honors Global Studies and Economics is to give students an understanding and appreciation of the major regions of the world, and the historical events, issues, and challenges that now unite and divide them. The course covers topics in world history from the Paleolithic era to the present. A multidisciplinary approach to investigating human history will focus on key concepts and themes in each historical era. Political, economic, cultural, technological and social issues will be examined. The essential social studies concepts and skills in this course provide a foundation for continuing study in social studies.   Skills to be emphasized include: reading comprehension, document analysis, interpretation of diverse perspectives, critical thinking, inquiry and research, thesis formulation, and writing. Although this course will be inclusive of both topics, three quarters will be more devoted to the Honors Global Studies concepts and one quarter will be more devoted to macro-economic concepts.

UNITED STATES HISTORY  Grade 10 (full year)

This course traces the development of American culture and society from the discovery of the country through the present day.  Its focus is the political, social, cultural, technological, economic, demographic, and physical manifestations of change as initiated and experienced by a diverse, culturally rich, and emergent American citizenry.  We shall explore the theme of change from through many different means and media, using narratives, novels, film, theater, poetry, economic and sociological data, and traditional textbooks as sources.  A critical eye, developed and enthusiastic spirit of inquiry and a broad appreciation of diverse perspectives will be integral to student success in this course.  This course satisfies the Minnesota Standards in US History.

AP UNITED STATES HISTORY  Grade 10 (full year)
Prerequisite: At least a C- in Honors Global Studies or a B- in Global Studies and a summer assignment.
Summer Assignment: See Mr. MacLeod before the end of the current school year to get the summer assignment.

The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history.  The course prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses.  Students should learn to assess historical materials – their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance – and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.  The AP U.S. History course will develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.  Students may choose to take this course in place of 10th grade U.S. History.  All students who choose to enroll must take the AP exam.

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY  Grade 11 (1 semester)

Human Geography is a semester course designed to prepare students to be informed, concerned and engaged citizens of the world in which they live. This requires an understanding of the “where” and “why” of people and places. The first quarter content includes the following: the nature of geography as an discipline, geographic skills, demography/population studies, cultural geography and political geography. The second quarter content includes: economic geography, land use, and urban geography. This course satisfies the Minnesota standards in geography.

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY  Grade 11 (full year)
Prerequisite: At least a C- AP US History or a B- in US History and a summer assignment

This year-long, advanced-level course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Exam in Human Geography. The class prepares students to be informed, concerned and engaged citizens of the world in which they live by developing their understanding of the “where” and “why” of people and places. The course covers the following content: the nature of geography as an academic discipline, practical geographic skills, geographic technologies, physical geography, demography/population studies, cultural geography, political geography, economic geography, land use and urban geography. It is expected that students who enroll in AP Geography already are proficient in basic geographic skills (map skills, latitude/longitude, etc.) and location/place geography; students should also be familiar with current global issues and cultures. This course satisfies the Minnesota Standards in geography. 

U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS  Grade 12 (1 semester)

U.S. Government and Politics is an intensive study of the formal and informal structures of government and the processes of the American political system, with an emphasis on constitution and its various interpretations.  This course includes both the historical and current analysis and interpretation of the Constitution as well as historical study of the formation of the U.S. governmental structure.  This course satisfies the Minnesota Standards in U.S. Government and Politics. 

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT & POLITICS  Grade 12 (1 semester)
Prerequisite: At least a C- in AP Human Geography or a B- in Human Geo and a summer assignment

AP U.S. Government and Politics is an intensive study of the formal and informal structures of government and the processes of the American political system, with an emphasis on constitutional principles and interpretation.  This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific legislative and judicial precedents.  It requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute the American political system.  AP U.S. Government and Politics is designed to prepare students for the AP exam.  This course is not designed to prepare students for the AP exam on Comparative Government and Politics.  All students enrolled in the course must take the AP exam.

SOCIOLOGY  Grade 11, 12 (1 semester)
Prerequisite: To have passed general courses in grades 9-10

Sociologists seek to understand in a systematic and scientific way the social behavior of human beings and their social arrangements.  In this course, core sociological theories and the "nature versus nurture" paradigm are applied to contemporary phenomena such as homelessness, conspicuous consumption (consumerism), deviance, high risk behavior, technological change, artificial "life," ethics, gender/sexual and racial identity, as well as the institutions that give shape and form to today's students' lives.  This course is most appropriate for the student interested in sharpening critical analysis, research, and communication skills.   

SOCIAL STUDIES IN FILM  Grade 11, 12 (1 semester)
Prerequisite: To have passed general courses in grades 9-10

The aim of this semester course is to use film to help students examine various social studies topics as well as to cultivate an appreciation of the cinematic representation of the world.  Film genres to be included in the course may include western, horror, social commentary, science fiction, musical, military, documentary, comedy, satire, foreign, cult, modern, and/or political.  Course assignments include keeping a film journal, classroom presentations, and written film reviews.

AP PSYCHOLOGY  Grade 11,12 (full year)
Prerequisite: To have passed general course in grades 9-10

Advanced Placement Psychology actively integrates various activities, student projects, and discussion to help one better understand their own behavior as well as the behavior of others. This course examines both biological and environmental factors that influence mental processes and human behavior. Examples of course topics include abnormal disorders, sensation, perception, hypnosis, memory, personality, and child development. This class is geared toward the college-bound student and is taught in a manner similar to an introductory college psychology course. Part of the second semester includes an emphasis on AP exam preparation and is taught in a manner similar to an introductory college psychology course. Part of the second semester includes an emphasis on AP exam preparation. 

CRITICAL ISSUES AND THE NEWS  Grade 11, 12 (1 semester)
Prerequisite: To have passed general courses in grades 9-10

This course is designed to provide students with the  critical thinking skills and knowledge base that will help them better understand some of the critical issues facing contemporary America.  Issues will be drawn from the news and may include human and civil rights, the environment, domestic policies, and/or international relations.  The course will examine differing viewpoints surrounding the issues.  Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in research, persuasion, and debate.

CSI: CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND CRIMINALISTICS  Grade 11, 12 (1 semester)
Prerequisite: To have passed general courses in grades 9-10

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a crime scene investigator, using wit, intelligence and sophisticated forensic science to track a trail of clues and solve crimes?  Have you any interest in law enforcement, the justice system, or processing crime scenes?  If you are one of the millions of global citizens riveted by such popular procedural television shows as CSI or Law & Order: SVU, Forensic Files, Homeland, The First 48 or Dexter, this class is for you!  CSI takes a multidisciplinary approach to learning about crime scene investigation, borrowing from the worlds of biology, botany, criminal justice, forensics, medicine and medico legal death examination.  One-third of CSI will be devoted to criminal procedure based on laboratory evidence; the two-thirds will find students working with real life law enforcement and forensics professionals, immersing themselves in the methodology and science of crime scenes, learning and practicing lab techniques helpful in the solving of crimes, including exact cause and manner of death.  We will use a variety of resources to accomplish these tasks and participate in numerous field experiences and field trips.   A $40 semester fee for food and transportation will be collected during the first three weeks of the course.

Required Courses:
    9-Global Studies (full year)
    10-United States History (full year)
    11-Human Geography (one semester)
    12-Government (one semester)

AP Courses:
    10-United States History
    11-Human Geography
    12-Government
    11/12-Psychology

Elective Courses:
    11/12-CSI
    11/12-Global Film Studies
    11/12-Sociology
    11/12-US:  Topic