High School Social Studies Curriculum

Global Issues

Course Description

This elective will explore current Global Issues such as human rights, the environment, poverty and education within the Global Issues Network (GIN) framework (http://global-issues-network.org/). GIN is a student-led initiative that allows young people from all over the world to collaborate locally, regionally and globally to create solutions for global issues. The class will be project-based, where we will form partnerships with other schools and organizations, and come up with action plans to focus on specific issues. Students are encouraged to be proactive and committed, and by the end of the class, to have developed strong leadership and communication skills, as well as see themselves as bringing about positive change.


Units:

-        Theory and Overview of Issues

-        Local Campaign Development

-        Partner Networking and Collaborations

-        Project Implementation

Skills and Understandings:

Students will:

  • Identify and prioritize top pressing issues and develop solutions
  • Evaluate the credibility of sources and the reliability of information
  • Evaluate the perspective and arguments of various stakeholders on a current issue
  • Make informed decisions as critical thinkers of media consumption
  • Hone critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Further oral communication skills through debates, discussions and presentation
  • Develop practical project management skills by planning and implementing a school wide project

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to develop a rich and strong understanding of today’s world as global citizens
  • Engaging students to reflect upon their own world, embrace diversity and make a positive change
  • Enriching student’s curiosity and passion by allowing them to select learning topics and projects interdependently

 

Ancient World History (Grade 9)

Course Description:

Ancient World History covers world history from the origins of mankind to approximately 1450 AD/CE.  The first part of the course will examine the earliest humans and several ancient civilizations, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Africa.  Students will then study the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome, along with a focus on the development of the major world religions and the first large-scale empires.  The course will conclude with a study of the era just before true global contact was made.

Major Essential Questions

  • How do civilizations, cities, and cultures develop and change?
  • What factors influence the rise, spread, and fall of empires?
  • What role does religion play in the development and spread of civilizations and empires?
  • How do cities and civilizations establish authority, create laws, and govern effectively?

Units:

1- Emergence of Humans and Early Settlements (to 1000 BCE)
  • Human Origins; Mesopotamia; Egypt; Indus Valley; China
2- The Classical World (1000 BCE - 500 BCE)
  • Greece; Rome; India; China
3- The Rise of Empires  (500 BCE - 1450 CE)
  • Islam; Medieval Europe
4- Comparative study of the major religions that arose during the periods covered

Skills and Understandings:

  • Students will explore, compare and contrast the development, contributions and decline of these civilizations, and the historical forces that have formed the foundation of the modern world.
  • Students will also learn basic concepts of historical research and analysis using a variety of primary and secondary sources.

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to develop a rich and strong understanding of today’s world by reflecting upon the past
  • Engaging students to practice self-discipline and independence as they explore a variety of topics and communicate them using various technology-rich media
  • Enriching student curiosity and passion by allowing them to select learning topics and projects, working both independently and collaboratively


Modern World History (Grade 10)

Course Description:

Modern World History is the required full year Social Studies course for Grade 10 students.  Picking up where Ancient World History ended, this course will focus on the rise of the modern world, beginning in the 1500s and continuing to the present day. Students will begin the first semester by studying the spread of new scientific, spiritual, and intellectual ideas during the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Enlightenment. This will be followed by a comparison of several different political revolutions in both Europe and the Americas, and an examination of the growth of nationalism and imperialism around the world.  During the second semester, students will focus on WWI and WWII and the impact of these two wars on the second half of the twentieth century. Throughout the course, students will focus on the idea of “revolution” and “human nature” in order to take a deeper look at history and its’ actors to determine if people truly learn from their mistakes. Students will also learn basic concepts of historical research and analysis using a variety of primary and secondary sources.

Units:

  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Scramble for Africa
  • World War One
  • World War Two
  • Final Research Paper

Skills and Understandings:

  • Students will understand how the concept and tactic of revolution has been instrumental in shaping our world’s history.
  • Students will develop critical-thinking skills through analyzing primary and secondary sources such as propaganda, letters, news articles and speeches.
  • Students will understand how power is gained and abused in the context of war, diplomacy and conquest.
  • Students will understand the causes and effects of war.
  • Students will understand the components of research including thesis writing, research, citations, and analysis.

This course upholds the KAS mission statement by:

  • Encouraging students to make positive changes worldwide by learning from the lessons of war.
  • Allowing students to become global citizens by understanding historical issues through multiple perspectives.
  • Awarding students with a strong sense of personal commitment and dedication to their own learning through the development of a well-researched and analytical final essay.

 

African Studies (Grade 11)

Course Description

The objective of this course is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics spanning African history till the present, with a focus on cultural identity, context, power and critical perspective. Students are encouraged to develop an Afrocentric perspective in terms of analyzing events that portray the continent in a more balanced and positive manner. Over and beyond memorizing historical facts, students will assess how events, ideas and values affect individuals and society across time and Africa today.

Units:

  • Geography
  • Perceptions and Source Analysis
  • Ancient African Kingdoms
  • Medieval African Kingdoms
  • Transatlantic Slave Trade
  • Colonization: The Scramble for Africa and the colonial experience
  • Independence and Post-Independence Politics
  • Contemporary Issues

Skills and Understandings:

●      Students will explore key topics in African history, along with an opportunity to pursue their own interests in a particular topic

●      Students will critically analyze historical source materials and perspective; with an emphasis on an African point of view

●      Students will analyze the impact of African history on the world; and vice versa

●      Students will further develop skills in the areas of critical thinking, research and communication  (verbal and written)

●      Students will relate and apply the knowledge and skills gained to current issues in Africa

●      Students will reflect upon their own roles and agency in being socially responsive and bringing about change

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to develop a rich and strong understanding of today’s world as global citizens
  • Engaging students to reflect upon their own world, embrace diversity and make a positive change
  • Enriching student’s curiosity and passion by allowing them to select learning topics and projects interdependently

 

Comparative Government (Grade 12)

Course Description

Comparative Government is the required full year Social Studies course for Grade 12 students.  This course focuses on different types of government institutions and political issues in the world today.  Students will analyze a series of case studies to compare and contrast different countries and governments, their political institutions, their foreign policy and their decision-making processes. The cultural and economic background of each country will also be studied to determine the role these factors have on the government. This class also explores the idea of political power and analyzes how power is obtained, utilized, and either maintained or lost.  Students will also examine major world political issues and current crises, including terrorism, war and conflict resolution, and international relations. The study of current events will be integrated regularly to supplement class discussion. These issues will be explored within the context of the following question: Global Citizenship: How can citizens and governments collaborate to improve our world’s institutions, economies and social policies?

Units:

  • Perspectives of Power and Government
  • Political Lenses
  • Democracy
  • One-Party States
  • Fascism
  • Government and Security
  • Failed States

Skills and Understandings:

  • Students will understand power and the ways in which governments and individuals seek to acquire it.
  • Students will understand democracy and the roles and functions of the United States Government
  • Students will understand how a one-party state functions through a study of China and Communism.
  • Students will study Fascism through a historical analysis of Hitler’s Germany
  • Students will understand how government, poverty, and security intersect and the various response tactics.
  • Students will learn how to articulate their perspectives and opinions through discussion, writing and debate.

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to reflect upon their own world through the development and creation of a documentary film in which students may explore, present and analyze a global issue of their choice.
  • Encouraging students to be communicative by demonstrating strong analytical skills through writing and speaking.
  • Awarding students with a rich and broad understanding of today's world as they learn and understand the roles and duties of governments and citizens.

 

History through Film

Course Description

Literacy is a complex idea that has changed exponentially in the last decade. Being literate today and in the future encompasses the ability to gather information from sources other than just the written word. In History Through Film students become discerning users of modern media. Students view a variety of films that cover historical events and with thorough research using reference books, YouTube, internet sites, etc, they determine the accuracy of the portrayal of events. Students will share their findings through writing and speaking.

Units:

  • Prisoners of War
  • Famous Battles
  • Historical Figures

Skills and Understandings:

  • Students will learn to analyze information and do their own research to determine the accuracy of reports.
  • Students will learn to collate information from multiple sources.
  • Students will understand that historical events are not always reported in an objective manner.
  • Students will understand that we can learn from history.
  • Students will learn that looking at facts from different cultural perspectives is enriching.

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to listen to different views and different perspectives and learn to respect those views and perspectives.
  • Allowing students to value their own views and perspectives, as well as the views and perspectives of others.
  • Allowing students to understand that differences can be enriching and do not have to be seen as threats.

 

Social and Behavioral Psychology

Course Description:

The objective of this course is to explore human social influence and interaction. More specifically, this class will target how the social environment influences our thinking, behavior, attitudes, and relationships. We will delve into the various ways people think about, affect, and relate to one another through the exploration of the self, the self in relation to others, basic behavioral research, and social psychology in the media.

Units:

  • The Self
  • The Self in Relation to Others
  • Research Methodology in Social Psychology (Intro)
  • Social and Behavioral Psychology in the Media

Skills and Understandings:

  • Students will learn better decision-making through understanding the way they think about the world, their body language, and self-awareness
  • Students will understand how humans interact with others and how their actions are affected by their environment
  • Students will learn the basic steps of qualitative research through a social psychology experiment
  • Students will understand how the media uses social psychology, in terms of the self in relation to others, through advertising in various media outlets

This course upholds the KAS Mission Statement by:

  • Allowing students to gain life-long learning skills through understanding the way humans, in relation to the self and others, make decisions
  • Allowing students to develop and maintain a positive self-image through understanding the concept of the self in terms of ownership of their lifelong decisions
  • Encouraging students to develop a strong sense of personal commitment to their learning and their future through understanding the self and their integral role in the world