History and Social Sciences

Three credits of history and social sciences are required. Study begins in the sophomore year with World History and continues with U.S. History in the junior year and American Government/Economics in the senior year. Senior courses are each one semester in length. Advanced Placement courses in U.S. History, World History, and American Government are also offered to interested and qualified students. AP World History, AP U.S. History and AP Government are taken in place of the regular courses at each grade level. Students in the AP courses are required to take the AP exam in their subject area for college credit eligibility. The history and social sciences department also offers the following elective courses: Psychology, Intrduction to Law, Mock Trial, Introduction to African American Studies, the 1960s, Human Rights, America's Women, and Current Events.

Mark Albright
Anne Aydinian
Kellie Farrell
Kathleen Fritsch
Marcy Hill
Virginia Hudgins
Rodney Miles
Carleen Raymond,  Department Chair
Brigid Schiro

History and Social Sciences Courses

519 WORLD HISTORY (1 credit)

World History is the study of people coping with their environment, living together in society, and dealing with people of different cultures and the study of major events and people. The course is divided into two semesters. During the first semester the development of humanity is traced from Pre-civilization through the Age of Exploration. During the second semester, humanity's development is continued from the Era of Absolutism to the present day. Throughout the course an emphasis is placed on the students' understanding of key concepts in world history and on the students' ability to research and discuss their findings in formal papers. It is hoped that this course will give the students a greater understanding of the problems facing our world today.

The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. AP World History builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. Specific themes provide organization to the course, along with the consistent attention to contacts among societies. AP World History is offered to qualifying sophomores.
Sophomores must take a qualifying test in the spring semester of their freshman year.
AP Course fee (includes AP exam): $92

500 U.S. HISTORY (1 credit)
The United States History course covers the years from 1607 to 1980 (with a concentration on the 20th century). The social, political, and economic changes which the colonies, and later the nation, underwent are the focus of the study. Strong emphasis is placed on critical reading and writing skills as well as on the analysis of events and people to determine their impact on our history. Analysis is conducted verbally and in written form. An overview text is used with focus on the changing role of women and minorities within the context of American history. A term paper is written in the spring semester.

503 HONORS AP U. S. HISTORY (1 credit)
AP U.S. History is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course. It is a survey course covering the history of the United States from its earliest settlements to the present time period. The course is intense and rapidly paced, requiring the student to be dedicated to the learning process. Students will be required to read and note-take nightly and participate in daily class discussions concerning the reading. Therefore, above average reading and oral skills are a prerequisite. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, essay writing, interpretation of primary documents and historiography. Students must be willing and able to work independently in a less structured college-like atmosphere. A summer reading and writing assignment is given to the rising junior students enrolled in the course that is due the first day of class junior year. It is possible to earn college credit in history through performing successfully on the AP U.S. History exam.
AP Course fee (includes AP exam): $92

505/506 GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS (1 credit)
In Government, the student is exposed to the structure and operations of the American political system. The course will focus on the purposes of government, the democratic model, and the American constitutional system. The course content will center around the federal branches of American government. Economics is the study of the relationship between scarce resources and unlimited human wants. The course will focus on economic theories and their practical applications. The content will cover macro-economic and micro-economic concepts as they apply to the American economic system. Students will have "hands-on" experiences with activities such as the Stock Market Game and Income Tax forms. Throughout the year, strong emphasis will be placed on the students' critical thinking skills in describing, analyzing, applying, and evaluating the course content in the form of discussions, essays, projects, and formal papers. Current events will be heavily stressed through the year.

Each of these courses is a sophisticated and critical analysis of the economic and political systems of the United States. We will spend a semester studying each topic. Honors Microeconomics will concentrate on the process by which economic decisions are made at the individual firm level of economic operation. Although the majority of the course has a microeconomic focus, we will study such macroeconomic topics as taxation and government spending and international trade and currency/valuation. In conjunction with the course theme material, student teams will participate in a 10-week stock market simulation via Internet. An analysis paper will be written in the second quarter. The Advanced Placement American Government and Politics course is styled to reflect a college-level introduction to the institutions of the governing structure and the political processes which make our system run. We will read and discuss text material on these topics as well as critical analysis articles and essays by leading political and social writers. The course is structured as a seminar and requires extensive participation on a daily basis from the students. This course will prepare the students to take the AP examination in American Government in the spring and students will be required to take the exam as part of the course work. This is a fast-paced course requiring very good reading and comprehension skills as well as a strong interest in politics and the government. Students enrolling in this course are required to do a summer current events project exploring national economic and political issues. Specific details concerning this project will be given out prior to the end of the junior year.
AP Course fee (includes AP exam): $92

515 PSYCHOLOGY (1/2 credit)
The purpose of Psychology is to study the human mind, human behavior, and human development. The course will focus on learning and personality theories, brain functioning, development, and mental disorders. Students will share in class discussions and activities and will view topical videos throughout the course. The course material will be handled in an academic and a practical manner.
Senior level elective.

525 INTRODUCTION TO LAW (1/2 credit) 
Introduction to Law is recommended for students who are considering going to law school as well as any student who wants to be aware of her individual legal rights. The course takes an in-depth look at the subjects of crimes, torts, contracts, the Constitution and the judicial system, as well as other law-related topics. Students participate in a mock trial, study and present legal cases, and have the opportunity to meet and work with legal professionals in the community. This class does not satisfy the computer requirement for graduation. Open to grades 11 and 12.
Open to Strake Jesuit students.

526 MOCK TRIAL (1/2 credit) 
Mock Trial is the foundation of litigation training and is essential to the understanding of the legal process. During the course, students will try both civil and criminal cases because the substantive, evidentiary and procedural laws are different for each. Except for the desire to win, even trial strategy differs between criminal and civil cases. In addition, students are taught to think by formulating a case theory, theme and strategy; to communicate more effectively by designing and orally presenting opening statements, closing arguments, direct and cross of fact and expert witnesses, and evidentiary objections and responses.
Offered in the spring. Prerequisite: Introduction to Law or teacher approval. Open to Strake Jesuit students.

545 THE 1960's (1/2 credit)
This course will be an in-depth study of the most tumultuous decade in American history. It will address all aspects of the period, including the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and Hippie Counterculture. The music of the decade from the British invasion to Woodstock will be studied. Videos will be relied upon to bring the decade alive.
Senior level elective.

550 HUMAN RIGHTS (1/2 credit)
This course is an introduction to human rights as a social and political issue. The curriculum will examine how and why nations view human rights issues differently,  the role that human rights issues play on the international stage, particularly in the relationship between the US and China, and the organizations that are involved in both the creation and enforcement of human rights policy. Through the use of case studies and round-table discussions on current human rights issues in the news, students will be able to look beyond the historical, political and social causes of human rights violations and will begin to examine how both individual citizens and governments can work to promote human rights and/or prevent future abuses.
Junior and senior level elective.

555 AMERICA'S WOMEN (1/2 credit)
This course will explore how women's work and lives have helped shape the United States and, conversely, how the economy, politics and social conditions of the United States have shaped women's work and lives. It will discuss the role of gender, race/ethnicity, and class in explaining differences in work among women and between women and men. Using primary sources from the 1620's to the present, including conduct books, women's magazine articles, consumer advertisements, and Hollywood movies, students will examine images and behavioral expectations of women, as well as what gender roles were constructed by society and how those roles changed over time. Major themes of the course will include the Colonial "goodwife", women as wage earners, the concept of the "double burden", traditional "female" professions, the women's rights movement, women in war, the 1950's female stereotype, the "glass ceiling" in corporate America, and changes in fashion and body image
Junior and senior level elective.

560 CURRENT EVENTS (1/2 credit)
We live in an increasingly complex world confronting and coping with complicated issues.  Whether it is global terrorism, poverty, or health care, these issues are many-faceted and solutions are never simple.  Current Events will take an in-depth look at some of the issues that are currently “hot topics” confronting our nation and the world today.  The topics that will be addressed in the course are fluid as the pressing issues are changing from year to year.  Students will have a voice in setting the topics to be examined in class.  A meeting prior to the end of the school year will allow students to voice their preference of topics from a list that will be developed prior to the meeting.  The course will emphasize class discussion and students will be encouraged to dialogue openly on the issues.  A good Dominican has the gospel in one hand and a newspaper in the other.  This course will be the newspaper that will offer insight into some of the most pressing problems confronting the United States.
Offered in the fall. Junior and senior level elective.  

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