Our diverse social studies curriculum extends beyond traditional history classes. We offer a variety of social science and history classes ranging from the modern world history and contemporary global issues to the study of local history. Through our curriculum we provide students with opportunities to apply what they are learning in the classroom and to understand their own lives in a broader social context.
Modern World History
Prerequisite: Composition and World Literature 1 or Composition and World Literature 1 Honors. This is a study of the major ideas, events and turning points in the shaping of the modern world. Modern World History focuses on world developments since the late 18th century. Among the periods covered are the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, Political Revolutions, Imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and Contemporary Events. Critical thinking skills will be developed through analysis of events, cause and effect relationships, and prediction of consequences. Specific learning tools incorporate writing methods, public speaking, use of technology and literature.
AP World History
Prerequisite: A in Composition and World Literature 1 or a minimum grade of B in Composition and World Literature 1 Honors. The purpose of the Advanced Placement World History course is to use relevant factual knowledge taken from primary and secondary sources with high-order thinking skills to acquire a greater understanding of the development of global processes, from ancient times to the present day. The course emphasizes the character of change and continuity in world structures and their impacts. Furthermore, this study will evaluate the interchange of major societies in the global community and the results of that interplay. Throughout the duration of this course, the instruction lends itself to chronological periodization as well as thematic perspective. Students in this course take the AP Exam in May with the possibility of receiving college credit or placement.
AP Human Geography
Prerequisite: A in Composition and World Literature 1 or a minimum grade of B in Composition and World Literature 1 Honors. May be taken as an elective course taken concurrently with Modern World History/AP World History/AP European History or US History/AP US History. The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce 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. Students will develop skills that enable them to use and think about maps and spatial data, understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places, and recognize and interpret at different scales the relationships among patterns and processes. The following topics will be covered in the course: Geography’s nature and perspectives, population, cultural patterns and processes, political organization of space, agricultural and rural land use, industrialization and economic development, and cities and urban land use.
Prerequisite: A in Composition and World Literature 1 or a minimum grade of B in Composition and World Literature 1 Honors. May be taken as an elective course taken concurrently with Modern World History/AP World History/AP European History or US History/AP US History. 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 each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students in this course take the AP Exam in May with the possibility of receiving college credit or placement.
AP European History
Prerequisite: A in Composition and World Literature 1 or a minimum grade of B in Composition and World Literature 1 Honors. This course explores European history since 1450 by introducing students to the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. Without this knowledge, we would lack the context for understanding the development of contemporary institutions, the role of continuity and change in present-day society and politics, and the evolution of current forms of artistic expression and intellectual discourse. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, the goals of AP European History are to develop (a) an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European history, (b) an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretation, and (c) an ability to express historical understanding in writing.
United States History
Prerequisite: Modern World History or AP World History or AP European History. This survey course consists primarily of readings in and lectures on the history of the United States. Course will trace the development of the United States from 1492 to the present day, using the traditional political-military approach as well as a social-cultural perspective. Particular emphasis will be on events of the twentieth century, although Exploration and Colonization, Nationalism and Sectionalism, and Industrialization and Expansion will be reviewed appropriately. Students will develop practical familiarity with the geography of the nation, vocabulary appropriate to the study of American history, and understanding of the major historical periods, individuals, movements, and ideas that have contributed to the creation of the American society. Note taking, essay writing, and critical synthesis will be emphasized.
AP United States History
Prerequisite: A in Modern World History or minimum grade of B in AP World History or AP European History. An accelerated lecture course intended to introduce students to college-level work and expectations. Familiarizes students with the significant events and issues of American history and develops the process of critical analysis necessary to interpret these facts. The course covers the major historical periods in United States history from 1492 to the present, and students will be expected to grasp basic factual knowledge and related themes. In addition, students will be exposed to historical debate on selected issues, focusing on areas of disagreement among historians. Critical thinking and essay writing skills will be strengthened throughout this challenging course. Participants may take the Advanced Placement Exam in May for college credit.
Prerequisite: US History or AP US History. Civics establishes the connection between the basic concepts of American constitutional government and the practical and philosophical applications of democratic participatory citizenship. Students are expected to master various theories of government, the foundations of the United States Constitution, the three-branch system of government, and citizen responsibilities. Both historical and current issues and controversies play a major role in the course and are integrated into the subject matter. Participation and critical thinking are emphasized. Students are encouraged to become informed citizens and to take an active role in the political process.
Prerequisite: US History or AP US History. Economics is an introduction to the study of economics and economic systems prevalent in our world today. Special focus is on the economy of the United States - its structure, problems, and prospects. Course will cover economic foundations, alternative systems, microeconomics and macroeconomics, and aspects of the international economy. Students are expected to assimilate basic economic concepts, and to apply them in realistic situations. Various hands-on experiences may be provided to facilitate student understanding and participation, including the reading of case studies, playing the Stock Market, creating a budget, guest speakers, and current events applicable to the subject matter. Students must utilize mature thinking and writing processes in this course.
History of Los Angeles
Prerequisite: Composition/World Literature 1. The History of Los Angeles course is a multidisciplinary, critical analysis of Los Angeles with a foundation in the literature, history, culture, ethnicity, politics, environment, art, architecture and films of and about Los Angeles. Los Angeles is unique among major American cities with its own urban mythology or identity which, through the many works of its writers, filmmakers, scholars, and even the city itself. Three concepts are central to this course: (1) knowing that history of a society is essential to appreciating its present fabric and casting an educated eye to its future; (2) understanding other cultures is the key to living comfortably in a heterogeneous society and thus is the key to success; and (3) learning happens through experiential immersion.
Prerequisite: Composition/World Literature 1. This semester-long course studies the principles and basic concepts of sociology: groups, culture, collective behavior, classes and caste, community and ecology, role, status, and personality.
Advanced Investing: Paper Assets
Prerequisite: Geometry. In this semester-long course, students continue to develop their understanding of financial principles and approaches to investing. Building on their study of personal finance and their introduction to investing, advanced students engage in deep study of paper asset investing with a focus on the stock market and introduction to bonds, mutual funds, and other paper assets. This class will provide a glimpse into the past and description of Wall Street today, including the recent entities of the New York Stock Exchange, The American Stock Exchange and the NYSE Euro Exchanges. Students become familiar with different types of investments, deepen their understanding of risk and returns, and learn to make wise investing decisions. (Pending UC Approval).
AP U.S. Government and Politics
Prerequisite: A in US History or minimum grade of B in AP US History. The overall goal of this college-level course is to develop an understanding of the American political system through an exploration of its philosophy, traditions, values, and Constitutional framework. Students will examine the organization, powers, and processes of the Congress, the Presidency, and Judiciary as they function in the political system. The problems of bureaucracy, faction, interest-group politics, and minority rights will also be explored. Students will write frequently and critically on a variety of topics related to the course and will have the opportunity to take the nationally administered Advanced Placement Exam in American Government for college placement or credit in May.
AP Comparative Politics and Government
Prerequisite: A in US History or minimum grade of B in AP US History. Advanced Placement Comparative Government is the study of governmental systems throughout the world with specific emphasis on classification and identification of similar trends in different political systems. The course is an overview of the field of comparative government combined with six different government specific case studies: United Kingdom, Russia, China, Mexico, Iran, and Nigeria. The material is designed and organized with the ultimate goal of success on the Advanced Placement examination in May. Reading assignments and required projects are listed in the syllabus. In addition to the reading assignments, students will be required to respond in class to free response type questions similar in format to those on the AP Exam. Students will have five credit tests that will be multiple choice and essay format.