SOCIAL STUDIES

Philosophy

The goal of the St. Mary's social studies department is to develop students' historical thinking skills through analysis, contextualization, interpretation, synthesis, argumentation, and causation. This will be achieved through the study of culture, tradition, events, and people throughout the world.

WORLD HISTORY - 2 years required

610 World History I
Grade: Freshman (required)
Prerequisite:  None
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
World History I examines the histories and cultural achievements of peoples from ancient times to the 19th century. Freshman students are introduced to the political, social, economic, philosophical, religious, artistic, and scientific developments that highlight both western and non-western civilization. World History I builds a foundation by exposing students to the information they will use in other social studies courses like historical reading, primary source reading, map reading, and research.

620 World History II
Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: World History I
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
World History II examines the histories and cultures of the 20th Century throughout the world. The class will begin by evaluating the events leading up to the outbreak of World War I to early 21st Century events like September 11, 2001. Throughout the study of significant events, this class will examine significant social, economic, philosophical, religious, artistic, scientific and political perspectives and developments throughout the world. Students will be introduced to fundamentals of historical thinking skills that will be developed in junior and senior year.

634 AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
Grade: Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: Department approval. Can be taken in place of World History II
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
Students are required to take the national AP test in May as well as the end-of-semester culminating activity at St. Mary's.

UNITED STATES HISTORY - required

631 American History
Grade:  Junior, Senior
Prerequisite:  None
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
American History covers the establishment of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607 to the 1970’s. This course is required for juniors and concentrates on the major events, individuals, and themes in United States history. Throughout the study of our nation’s history, students will focus on learning and using historical thinking skills: contextualization, causation, continuity versus change over time, comparison, and argumentation. Students will develop skills in reading, writing, discussion, and oral communication through formal presentations. Finally, the American History course reinforces the view that the study of our nation's past is a necessary foundation for understanding the American present.

632 AP United States History
Grade:  Junior, Senior
Prerequisite:  Students must have a minimum cumulative B+ average for the previous three semesters of Social Studies work
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
This Advanced Placement course is both a chronological and topical examination of American history from the pre-Colonial period to the end of the Twentieth Century. The course focuses on the major events, individuals, and themes in United States history. An advanced-level textbook, the AP curriculum, as well as supplemental primary sources, and outside reading and writing are utilized in the teaching of this course. The Advanced Placement United States History course attempts to develop the related skills of reading, writing, discussing, and critical thinking. Students are expected to keep up with an independent reading, writing, and researching schedule. Students are required to take the national AP test in May as well as the end-of-semester culminating activity at St. Mary’s.

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT - required

636 American Government
Grade:  Senior
Prerequisite:  American History or AP US History
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
The American Government course explores the United States constitutional system from its inception to present day. Students will study foundational documents including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, landmark Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to better understand the key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political tradition, culture, and debates in the United States. Throughout the course, students engage in various disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop historical, philosophical, and evidence-based arguments. The topics explored in the course include constitutionalism, liberty and order, civic participation in a representative democracy, competing policy-making interests, and methods of political analysis.

638 AP U.S. Government and Politics
Grade: Senior
Prerequisite:  Students must have a minimum cumulative B+ average for the previous semesters of Social Studies work
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
The Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics course is a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop historical, philosophical, and evidence-based arguments. The topics explored in the course include constitutionalism, liberty and order, civic participation in a representative democracy, competing policy-making interests, and methods of political analysis. In addition, students will complete a political science research or applied civics project. Students are required to take the national AP test in May as well as the end-of-semester culminating activity at St. Mary’s.

SOCIAL STUDIES ELECTIVES

640 PSYCHOLOGY I
Grade:  Junior, Senior
Prerequisite:  None. Taken as an additional social studies elective only.
Length:  Semester
Credit:  0.5
Psychology is the study of individual human behavior and mental processes. We will examine interpersonal and group dynamics and explore how thoughts, feelings, and the actions of individuals are influenced by the beliefs, values, and practices of small and large groups. This course will help us understand more about ourselves and the people around us. The course is designed to explore basic principles and theories of psychology and, in doing so, we will learn how psychology's biggest ideas and greatest breakthroughs are reflected in how we live our lives.
This course consists of lectures, the use of audio and visual media, reading from required texts and supplementary texts, classroom discussions, technology-mediated interactions, guest speakers, and student presentations.
Psychology I explores topics such as theories, methods, brain and body awareness, perception and sensation, motivation and emotion, consciousness/dreams, memory and information processing, and intelligence and creativity. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

641 PSYCHOLOGY II
Grade:  Junior, Senior
Prerequisite:  Psychology I. Taken as an additional social studies elective only.
Length:  Semester
Credit:  0.5
Psychology is the study of individual human behavior and mental processes. We will examine interpersonal and group dynamics and explore how thoughts, feelings, and the actions of individuals are influenced by the beliefs, values, and practices of small and large groups. This course will help us understand more about ourselves and the people around us. The course is designed to explore basic principles and theories of psychology and, in doing so, we will learn how psychology's biggest ideas and greatest breakthroughs are reflected in how we live our lives.
This course consists of lectures, the use of audio and visual media, reading from required texts and supplementary texts, classroom discussions, technology-mediated interactions, guest speakers, and student presentations.
Psychology II explores topics such as gender differences between male and female, theories of personality, psychological tests, coping with stress and conflict, and mental disorders. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.

FACULTY

St. Mary's High School Katie Ghent pic

Mrs. Katie Ghent

Department Chair
and Teacher

kghent@smhscs.org

About Me

St. Mary's High School Elizabeth Montano pic

Ms. Elizabeth Montano

St. Mary's High School Ramon Falt pic

Ms. Ramon Falt