Social Studies

The Social Studies Department believes that America’s binding heritage is a democratic vision of liberty, equality, and justice. To preserve this vision and bring it into daily practice, students learn how American history was shaped by events and forces that either helped or obstructed it, and how it has evolved into the circumstances of our time. Students also explore the diverse cultural heritage of the world’s many peoples for a comprehensive study of history. This knowledge is essential for informed judgment, responsible democratic citizenship, and respect for the dignity of all individuals. 

Course Offerings

List of 14 items.

  • World History

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 9

    This is a survey course which focuses on the major events and the most influential people of ancient through modern times.  It incorporates political, economic, social, and cultural trends.  Current events and geography are also included.
  • Honors World History

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 9

    Honors World History is designed for students who have an enthusiasm for informal classroom discussions. The development of analytical thinking skills serves as the basis for evaluating ways of living, thinking, expressing, and believing which have shaped the course of civilization. Utilizing extensive visual aids, Honors World History provides the student with an integrated examination of historical and geographical perspectives and contemporary global issues which prepare the student for a deeper understanding of the world and themselves.
  • U.S. History

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 10

    After a review of United States History from the Age of Exploration through Reconstruction (1492-1877), this course provides in-depth analysis of the historical events from the late 19th century through the present day. Its chronological and thematic approach explores topics such as 1) the evolution of American political democracy; 2) the development  of the American economy; 3) the peopling of America from many countries that has contributed to the American heritage; 4) the role of the United States in the outside world; 5) the changing character of American society and culture; 6) the influence of geographical elements on the development of society; and 7) the distinctively American tension between liberty and order, region and nation, individualism and the common welfare, and between cultural diversity and civic unity. Ultimately, learning about the United States and its place in the world will help students develop informed opinions about the global issues facing the world and the United States role in the international community. 
  • Honors U.S. History

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 10, 11

    The honors course in United States History provides the opportunity for advanced work, rigorous academic study, and the practical application of the major ideas and concepts found in the study of American history. The course is challenging and requires students to take greater responsibility for their learning by participating in problem-seeking and problem-solving, scholarly and creative processes, critical analysis and application, reflective thinking, and the expression and defense of ideas generated through the study of the content. Honors United States History follows the same course of study as the corresponding standard United States History course, however the material is taught with greater complexity, novelty, acceleration, and reflects a differentiated curriculum. Honors United States History is distinguished by a difference in the quality of the work expected, not merely an increase in quantity.
  • U.S. Government

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 12

    United States Government is the study of our Federal System of Government with particular emphasis given to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.  Topics for the study of United States Government include: principles and origins of American government, the Constitution, Federalism, political behavior, the electoral process, mass media and public opinion, interest groups, the three branches of government, and the Bill of Rights.

    This one-semester course will study the purposes, principles, and practices of American government as established by the Constitution. The course identifies our rights and responsibilities as citizens and how to exercise these rights and responsibilities in local, state , and national government. Particular attention will be given to:
    1. Understanding institutions of America’s constitutional democracy
    2. Discovering the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights
    3. Recognizing opportunities for active civic engagement.
    4. Demonstrations of students’ knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles .
    5. Evaluation and defense of positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
  • Honors U.S. Government/We the People

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 12

    Honors U.S. Government is an honors-level curriculum that will explore U.S. Government intensely, with particular attention given to:
    1. Understanding institutions of America’s constitutional democracy
    2. Discovering the contemporaryrelevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights
    3. Recognizing opportunities for active civic engagement
    4. Demonstration of students’ knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles.
    5. Evaluation of defense of positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
    6. Preparation for the competitive Michigan We the People congressional hearings.

    Students who successfully enroll in the 1st semester will take part in the We the People; The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum, designed to promote than increased understanding of the institutions of our constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values on which they were founded; develop the skills  needed to become effective and responsible citizens, increase understanding and willingness to use democratic processes when making decisions, and manage conflict, in both public and private life. (Source: Michigan Center for Civic Education) 
    The Michigan Center for Civic Educations’ competitive simulated congressional hearing, is usually held on the first Friday in January. Given the national recognition of this program by Congress, professional organizations and the business community, it will be a prestigious addition to your high school credentials.
  • Economics

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    This course will provide students the opportunity to develop an economic way of thinking through the use of intellectual reasoning, marginal analysis, class discussion, simulations, and self-reflection.  Students will study the basic economic principles of micro and macroeconomics, international economics, and be encouraged to make real life connections to classroom content.
  • Honors Economics

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    This course introduces students to basic economic concepts and principles including scarcity and cost. It also focuses on important Microeconomics topics, including supply and demand, market structures, and cost analysis. The role of the government and the overall health of the economy will be examined in the Macroeconomics unit, as students spend time analyzing the role fiscal and monetary policy play in the United States economy. The class will also touch on International Trade and will challenge students to scrutinize free trade agreements, foreign exchange markets, and the law of comparative advantage. Finally, students will be encouraged to evaluate the role economics plays in their daily lives, including where they go to college and how to save for their future. The is class will provide students with an economic framework that enables them to use economic thinking in their daily lives.
  • Global Studies

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    Students will study specific countries and regions of the world currently undergoing significant environmental, political, cultural, social, and economic changes.  Students will actively study various global issues from the perspective of different countries in order to gain insight into the work of the United Nations as well as other global alliances and institutions.  Students will research and analyze global issues and work toward finding viable solutions at local, national, and world levels.
  • Psychology I

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes.  Students will study psychology as a social science that merges rigorous science with a broad human perspective. This includes examining the process of inquiry, developing critical thinking skills, and learning facts to support psychological concepts.  The course also develops an understanding and appreciation of psychological phenomena in our lives as individuals and as part of the larger 
    world community. The survey of topics that promotes this understanding includes: the biology of the mind; nature, nurture and human diversity; human development; human consciousness; motivation; emotions, stress and health; psychological disorders; and therapy. Finally, the course develops an awareness of psychology as a mental health profession with discussion of the various perspectives and subfields within psychology.
  • Psychology 2

    1 semester, 1/2 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    Building on the foundation in psychology that students gain from the current Psychology I course, Psychology II begins where Psychology I ends. Students will continue to explore the ways in which mental processes influence human behavior and vice versa. They will also have the opportunity to examine the human being in the context of society as a whole; how we think about, influence and relate to one another. Students will study the following topics:  sensation and perception; learning; memory; thinking, language and intelligence; personality; therapy; and social psychology.
  • AP European History

    2 semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 10, 11, 12

    The Advanced Placement program in European History is designed to provide students with the basic chronology of major events from the Renaissance to the recent past as preparation for the College Board AP examination.  If you enjoy participating in active, philosophical discussions, then this is the right class for you. Students will be taught  to write analytical, thesis-proving essays required of the AP College Board curriculum.  Admission to the AP program depends upon a student’s completion of an application form which will be reviewed by the Social Studies department for final approval
  • AP Government and Politics

    2 Semesters, 1 credit
    Open to 12

    AP Government and Politics examines and evaluates our institution of government, those who run these institutions, and the influences of the electorate on policies. The major purpose of this course it to help students gain and display and understanding of American politics, and the processes of government that help shape our public politics.

    Students begin to learn about the methods of studying political behavior and political institutions. Students can begin to develop a more sophisticated and insightful understanding of majority rule democracy, constitutionalism, civil liberties, and other distinguishing characteristics of the American political system.
    Advanced Placement Government and Politics is taught as a year-long course. The typical Advanced Placement Government and Politics student has successfully completed Advanced Placement courses in European and United States History, and will take the AP U.S. Government and Politics Examination.
  • AP U.S. History

    2 semesters,1 credit
    Open to 11, 12

    The AP U.S. History course framework is the product of several years of research into current best practices in history education.  The program of study emphasizes the development of thinking skills used by historians, aligning with contemporary scholarly perspectives on major issues in U.S. History. The course is designed to encourage students to become apprentice historians who are able to use historical facts and evidence in the service creating deeper conceptual understandings of critical developments in U.S. history. The course includes thematic learning objectives organized into seven major themes representing major historical understanding that colleges expect AP students to know.  The content of the course is organized into nine historical periods that run from the pre-colonial era to the present and includes the key concepts, supporting concepts, and historical developments that are required knowledge for each period.

List of 5 members.

  • Elizabeth Peters 

    Department Chair
    BA - University of Michigan
    MAT - Oakland University
  • Kristen Roland 

    BA - Concordia University
    MA - Eastern Michigan University
  • Chad Stevens 

    BA - Michigan State University
  • Patrick Turner 

    BS - Michigan State University
  • Timothy Wallace 

    BA - Oakland University
    MA - Oakland University

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