Social Studies

The Social Studies Department of Central Catholic is comprised of experienced faculty who guide students to develop critical analysis skills to understand the history of our nation and the world, and who challenge students to become actively involved in shaping the future.   Four credits of Social Studies are required for graduation and focus on the following areas:  world history, early American history, contemporary American history, and politics and government.  So that students have access to rigorous and appropriate academic opportunities, the department offers standard, honors and Advanced Placement level courses for meeting these requirements.  For those students seeking enrichment, the department offers electives, including an AP course.  Students who distinguish themselves in the areas of both academics and citizenship are honored with induction into the Central Catholic chapter of Rho Kappa, the honor society of the National Council for the Social Studies.  Additional AP and elective courses will be added to the curriculum, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.

Four credits in Social Studies are required for graduation. These must include one credit in world history, two credits in American history, (America in the World I Honors or Standard, and AP US History or America in the World II), and one credit in civics (American Government Honors or Standard).

Instructors

Courses

WORLD HISTORY

Standard and Honors Courses Available.

This course covers the history of the world beginning with the dawn of civilization and ending with the transition to the 19th century. It combines historical events and geographical facts with social, political, economic, and cultural developments of western civilization. The course is designed to help students appreciate and understand the people and achievements of the various cultural regions of the world. It also provides students with an understanding of how past events directly affect the modern world.

AMERICA IN THE WORLD I

Standard and Honors Courses Available.

This study of the United States is an examination of the formative years from Pre-Columbian civilizations to Post-Civil War Reconstruction, culminating with America’s transformation as a dominant political and economic influence in the world. It examines the evolution of the Constitution as a living document and the role of participatory democracy in the development of a rapidly changing technological society. Emphasis is placed on how the challenges of settling expansive and diverse physical environments were met in a culturally diverse population.

CONTEMPORARY STUDIES / AMERICA IN THE WORLD II

This course begins with America’s entrance into World War I and concludes with analysis of current events. Emphasis is placed on the United State’s role in shaping world events. This course provides students with an understanding of the technological, social, and political changes in the United States and in the world during the 20th and 21st centuries and how these changes affect our modern world. AP HISTORY is an alternative credit to this course.

CIVICS

Standard and Honors Courses Available.

In this course students expand upon their critical thinking and problem-solving skills allowing them to develop civic efficacy. Students become informed decision makers as they work collaboratively and develop awareness of their place in local, national, and global societies. The focus of the course is based upon the belief that responsible participatory citizenship, an understanding of the workings of our government, and global awareness are essential to the preservation and improvement of American Constitutional Democracy.

AP US HISTORY

AP US HISTORY is an alternative credit to CONTEMPORARY STUDIES / AMERICA IN THE WORLD II. This course provides students with skills and factual knowledge to critically analyze U.S. history on a college level. The challenges presented are equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students learn to assess historical materials – their relevance to an interpretive problem, reliability, and importance – and weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Students develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgement and present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. Students are required to take the comprehensive AP U.S. History Exam, published and administered by The College Board, at the end of the school year. Depending upon the exam score, students have the potential to earn up to 9 college credits (determined by individual universities and colleges).

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

This course guides students to explore political ideas, institutions, policies, events, and behaviors that characterize United States government and politics. Students will examine politically significant concepts and themes, through which they will learn to apply analytical reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments, presented in both written and spoken format.  Required course.

WORLD GEOGRAPHY

Standard and Honors Courses Available.

This course covers the fields of cultural and physical geography and cartography. Students study physical features of an area as well as the relationship between the people of a region and their environment. Emphasis is placed on cultural and economic influence between countries around the world. Students also make and study maps of the continents, countries, and regions of the world.