Social Science Department

 
Course Descriptions
 
World History:
This course covers a period of more than 250 years and highlights the intensification of a truly global history as people, products, diseases, knowledge, and ideas spread around the world as never before. The course begins with a turning point: the important transition in European systems of governance from divine monarchy to a modern definition of a nation-state organized around principles of the Enlightenment. The course ends with the present, providing ample opportunities for teachers to make connections to the globalized world in which students live.
 
As students move through the years 1750 through the present, they consider how a modern system of communication and exchange drew peoples of the world into an increasingly complex network of relationships in which Europe and the United States exerted great military and economic power. They explore how people, goods, ideas, and capital traveled throughout and between Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe. They analyze the results of these exchanges. The ability to see connections between events and larger social, economic, and political trends may be developed by having students consider the most fundamental changes of the era.
 
  • Graduation Credit: World History 
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a)
 
World History - Advanced Placement: 
AP World History is designed for the college-bound student seeking challenging curriculum that will prepare them for college and the AP exam in May. The program enhances written, oral, and group skills. This course will fulfill the state and college requirements for world history. Units are developed around an overarching question and an overall unit theme, with the five essential themes of World History that are continually emphasized throughout the year. Academic skills emphasized include analytical writing, critical analysis of documents and viewpoints, Socratic seminars and evaluative thinking skills. Students will write on average one in class essay every two weeks.
 
  • Graduation Credit: World History 
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a)
  • UC/CSU Weighted
United States History:
In this course, students examine major developments and turning points in American history from the late nineteenth century to the present. During the year, the following themes are emphasized: the expanding role of the federal government, the emergence of a modern corporate economy and the role of organized labor, the role of the federal government and Federal Reserve System in regulating the economy, the impact of technology on American society and culture, changes in racial, ethnic, and gender dynamics in American society, the movements toward equal rights for racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities and for women, and the rise of the United States as a major world power.
 
As students survey nearly 150 years of American history, they learn how geography shaped many of these developments, especially in terms of the country’s position on the globe, its climate, and abundant natural resources. In each unit, students examine American culture, including religion, literature, art, music, drama, architecture, education, and the mass media.
 
  • Graduation Credit: US History
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a)
 
U.S. History - Advanced Placement:
The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials— their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance— and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP U.S. History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions based on an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.
 
  • Graduation Credit: US History
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a)
  • UC/CSU Weighted
American Government:
This one-semester course involves the study of American politics, government operations, civil rights, and responsibilities. Students explore the democratic values that form the foundation of the American political system, investigate ideas that underlie its legal system, and study key documents, which have shaped the government of this nation. Students analyze issues that confront the United States and the global community.
 
  • Graduation Credit: American Government
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a); College Prep Electives (g)
 
Economics:
This one-semester, California standards-based course gives students an understanding of how the American economic system operates. Students are encouraged to examine their own role in that system. The course content provides opportunities for students to study the concepts of scarcity, supply and demand; to compare our economic system to those of other countries; and to learn to make reasoned judgments about economic issues.
 
  • Graduation Credit: Economics
  • UC/CSU Area: College Prep Electives (g)
 
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics:
This is a one-semester introductory college course in United States government and politics, or in comparative government and politics. In both subject areas, there is considerable variety among the courses offered by colleges. In terms of content, there is no specific college course curriculum that an AP course in United States Government and Politics or in Comparative Government and Politics must follow. Therefore, the aim of an AP course should be to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory U.S. or comparative government and politics courses.
 
  • Graduation Credit: American Government
  • UC/CSU Area: History (a); College Prep Electives (g)
  • UC/CSU Weighted
Philosophy & Critical Thinking:
This course introduces philosophy and the major concepts and thinkers in the history of philosophy. Students are introduced to issues in ethics duty, free will, justice, and knowledge through reading of primary and secondary philosophical tests.
 
  • Graduation Credit: College Prep Electives
  • UC/CSU Area: College Prep Electives (g)
 
Psychology
Psychology is the study of behavior and the examples of areas to be studied include learning and intelligence, problem solving, emotions, motivation, perception, sensation, personality, ethics, and methods of research. Students will develop skills in psychological research and methods. Career choices in the field of psychology will also be examined.
 
  • Graduation Credit: College Prep Electives
  • UC/CSU Area: College Prep Electives (g)
 
Sociology:
This course is the systematic and scientific study of human behavior, social groups and society. Students will examine the personal and institutional forces that shape everyday life, behavior, and social values. Students will develop a sense of social behaviors that exist or have interviews, simulations, role-playing and analysis of current events. Career choices in the field of Sociology will also be examined.
 
  • Graduation Credit: College Prep Electives
  • UC/CSU Area: College Prep Electives (g)
 
 
Staff