Social Studies Courses 

Students earn at least 3 credits in social studies courses to include U.S. & Virginia History, U.S. & Virginia Government, at least one from World History to 1500 or World History from 1500 (Advanced Diploma students must complete both)

World History and Geography to 1500:

Grade: 9

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 9

This is a survey of world history to 1500 with a concentration on developing historical thinking skills and geographical analysis. Course topics include: early development of humankind from the Paleolithic Era to the agricultural revolution, ancient river valley civilizations, early civilizations in Persia, India and China, influence of Greece and Rome in the development of Western civilization, the Byzantine Empire and Russia, early Islamic civilization, Western Europe in the Middle Ages, Empires of the Eastern Hemisphere, major civilizations of the Western Hemisphere (Mayan, Aztec, Incan), late medieval developments, and the Renaissance in Europe. This course has an associated Standards of Learning (SOL) test.  

 

Advanced World History and Geography to 1500:

Grade: 9

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 9

This pre-collegiate course emphasizes basic historical research skills using primary and secondary sources to understand multiple causes and perspectives for significant historical events. The course prepares students for future AP history examinations. Course topics include those found in the standard World History and Geography to 1500 course but emphasis is placed on interregional studies, themes, and global historical patterns and processes. This course has an associated Standards of Learning (SOL) test.

 

World History and Geography from 1500:

Grade: 10

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 10

This is a survey of world history from 1500 to the present with a concentration on modern developments in western civilization. Course topics include: the Reformation, the Age of Discovery, Absolutism, the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the Enlightenment, the development of nation-states, nationalism, and the Age of Imperialism, 20th Century conflicts, and independence movements and world religions and the contemporary world.

 

AP World History:

Grade: 10

Prerequisite: : Successful completion of World History and Geography to 1500 or Pre-AP World History and Geography to 1500 is recommended

This college level course uses the College Board’s AP syllabus to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts in different types of human societies. The course highlights the nature of changes in global frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. It emphasizes relevant factual knowledge, leading interpretive issues, and skills in analyzing types of historical evidence. The course is organized around five time periods. The first two are explored in detail in the Pre-AP World History and Geography to 1500 course and reviewed briefly in the beginning of this course. The last 500 years are the primary focus of this second year of the study. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study. In May, the students will take an AP World History Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

U.S. and Virginia History

Grade: 11

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 11

The study of the nation’s history provides the intellectual foundations for responsible citizenship. The origins of American ideals and institutions are examined. A study of major events, issues, and personalities of the past provides a perspective for understanding contemporary issues and problems. The role of Virginia in the development of the United States is included. Topics included for study: Exploration and Colonization, European Economic Influences and Slavery in the Americas, the American Revolution, the Constitution and Early National Period, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, U.S. as Emerging World Power, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights Movements and the Contemporary U.S.

 

U.S. and Virginia History Dual Enrollment:

Grade: 11

Prerequisite: Both His 121 and 122 must be taken to earn credit for US/VA History

The study of the nation’s history provides the intellectual foundations for responsible citizenship. The origins of American ideals and institutions are examined. A study of major events, issues, and personalities of the past provides a perspective for understanding contemporary issues and problems. The role of Virginia in the development of the United States is included with special emphases on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Mason. Topics included for study: Exploration and Colonization, European Economic Influences and Slavery in the Americas, the American Revolution, the Constitution and Early National Period, sectional tensions, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, U.S. as Emerging World Power, the Great War, World War II, the Cold War, Civil Rights Movements and the Contemporary U.S. As a result of this course students will have a better understanding the history of the United States and Virginia. Also, as the course focuses on critical, creative and collaborative thinking skills students will be better prepared for the rigors of collegiate study and/ or the workforce. Historical thinking skills will be practiced and assessed include synthesizing evidence from artifacts and primary and secondary sources, judging the reliability of sources based on evidence through using sourcing, contextualization, corroborating and close reading skills, an understanding of historiography, constructing arguments using evidence from multiple sources, comparing and contrasting historical, cultural, economic, and political perspectives, using geographic information to determine patterns and trends in Virginia and United States history analyzing multiple connections across time and place, using a decision-making model to analyze and explain the incentives for and consequences of a specific choice made in a historical context, constructing historical arguments based on evidence and evaluated in the proper context of time and place, and investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing. This course will offer an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills from all their previous course work in history and social science.

 

AP U.S. History

Grade: 11

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 11, AP World History is recommended

AP U.S. History is a course designed for the student who accepts the challenge of an advanced class in American History. Students will be expected to master all of the SOL objectives for Virginia and U.S. History. In addition, analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement U.S. History Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

U.S. and Virginia Government

Grade: 12

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 12

The American system of national, state, and local government, including the role of the United States in global affairs, is analyzed. Basic constitutional principles, rights and responsibilities of citizenship, political beliefs and ideologies, as well as free market economic principles, and the organization and operation of our political institutions are studied. Democratic beliefs and the importance of participation in the democratic process are emphasized.

 

U.S. and Virginia Government Dual Enrollment:

Grade: 12

Prerequisite: Both PLS 211 and 212 must be taken to earn credit for US/VA US/VA Government

This course teaches an in depth understanding of the American political system. Topics include the founding principles of the United States, democracy and republican principles of government, the Constitution, Federalism, political behavior, civil liberties, the three branches of government in the US and Virginia, domestic and foreign policy, civil rights, and the role of the US in global affairs. Students will use social science skills to gain a deeper understanding of the function of federal, state and local government, and the responsibilities and duties of citizenship.

 

AP Government and Politics: US

Grade: 12

Prerequisite: : Assignment to Grade 12, AP U.S. History is recommended

This college level course in U.S. political science includes topics such as: Constitutional underpinnings of U.S. government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups, and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, and civil rights and liberties. Analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement Government Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

AP Comparative Government

Grade: 12

Prerequisite: Virginia and U.S. History or Advanced Placement American History or concurrent enrollment

This college level political science course includes topics such as: introduction to comparative politics; sovereignty, authority, and power; political institutions; citizens, society, and the State; political and economic change; and public policy. Case studies in the governments of Great Britain, China, Iran, Mexico, Russia, and Nigeria provide context for exploring the topics of the course. Analytical writing will be required, both in essays developed within the framework of the class and in papers developed as a result of research assignments. In May, the students will take an Advanced Placement Government Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

Social Studies Electives:

Sociology:

Grade: 11/12

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 11 or 12

Problems and issues about social behavior, organizations, and institutions of people are examined. The study includes an examination of the structure and the function of groups, the variations in the social order and the dynamics of change in a social environment. There is focus upon the development of skills for participating more effectively in contemporary society by examining issues and seeking solutions to problems involving the interactions of people.

 

AP Human Geography:

Grade: 11/12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of World History from 1500

This introductory college course in human geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns, and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice, including Geographic Information Systems. In May, the students will take an AP Human Geography Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

AP Economics:

Grade: 11/12

Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

Advanced Placement Economics will provide students a thorough understanding of basic economic concepts; the nature and functions of product and factor markets. Students will study the role of the government, as well as the concepts of efficiency and equity. Topics also include: measures of economic performance; national income and price determination; economic growth; international finance, exchange rates and balance of payments. In May, the students will take one or both AP Economics Examinations (Microeconomics or Macroeconomics) to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

20th Century History

Grade: 11/12

Prerequisite: Assignment to Grade 11 or 12

The role of the United States in the modern world is explored. Emphasis is placed on the national and international issues of the 20th Century. Students will have an opportunity to engage in problem-solving and decision-making activities using a format based on research, and written and oral expression. Opportunities will be provided to develop possible resolutions to current issues confronting the nation.

 

AP Psychology:

Grade: 11/12

Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

The AP Psychology course 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 facts, principles, and phenomena associated with the major subfields within psychology. They will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. In May, the students will take an AP Psychology Examination to qualify for advanced standing and/or credit in college.

 

Related Electives:

  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research
  • Criminal Justice I/II