New Utrecht High School

Social Studies Department

Historical knowledge serves an individual and society the way memory does. An understanding of the past gives one perspective and insight into the world we live in, and presents its students with an almost limitless range of alternatives of how humans have organized their lives. From a business person contemplating an investment to someone exercising the responsibilities of social or political leadership, the study of history can provide useful models for action, and as important, an awareness of the complex results which can flow from that action. In an increasingly compartmentalized and specialized, world, historical study is one of the best ways to promote an ability to synthesize information and retain the larger picture. In addition, the ability to engage in research, to evaluate evidence and to present conclusions in a reasoned and coherent way is an ability that will serve one well in any career or profession. The Social Studies Department structures and implements its instructional program so that our students can develop positive attitudes toward learning and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills which will help them to achieve their lifelong aspirations and enable them to be caring, concerned and productive citizens

Global History and Geography - As we are all aware, especially after September 11, we do not live in a closed off world. Almost everything we do has an impact on some other part of the world and vice versa. It is clear that we have to look at others from a variety of viewpoints. In order to really understand the world in which we live, we must use multiple perspectives, including an examination of the values, beliefs, and traditions of other cultures and civilizations from the past to the present. We will examine the following topics, each from ancient times to the present, including a period of introduction to social studies as follows:

Global History and Geography I – 1000

  • Methodology of Global History and Geography
  • The Ancient World
  • Expanding Zones of Exchange and Encounter

Global History and Geography II – 1000 – 1750

  • Global Interactions
  • The First Global Age
  • The Age of Revolutions

Global History and Geography III – 1750 – 1900

  • Age of Revolution
  • Crisis and Achievement

Global History and Geography IV – 1900 – Present

  • Crisis and Achievement
  • Twentieth Century since 1945
  • Global Connections and Interactions

U.S. History and Government - Knowledge of the way people have lived and of the way events and ideas have shaped our lives, helps us understand the world of the present. U.S. History and Government is a year-long survey of American history from the age of exploration to the present. You will be required to apply the effort necessary to act as an historian and develop the ability to analyze historical evidence to determine its validity and relevance, identify point of view and the nature of bias, and recognize the necessity of objectivity and substantiation. United States History and Government is challenging and stimulating. There will be a focus on strengthening skills in taking objective exams, in addition to writing clear and compelling essays and doing research and analysis of historical data.

Participation in Government - The primary purpose of Participation in Government is to facilitate and encourage the development of civic-minded individuals capable of effectively fulfilling the “office of citizen” a fundamental precept of democracy and a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The end product should be individuals who have the characteristics that define a citizen – committed, informed, skillful, and active. All four elements are essential. Participation in Government is challenging and stimulating. There will be a focus on strengthening skills in taking objective exams, in addition to writing clear and compelling essays and doing research and analysis of data.

Economics – This course in social studies will introduce you to the fundamentals of micro and macro economics. The first-third curriculum (micro) includes an emphasis on the basic theories and principles of economics. This involves study of the market system of resource allocation which forms the basis of our nation's economic system, and the manner in which individuals and firms make decisions within that system. The second-third (macro) is broader in scope and deals with national, multinational and global economic questions. Presentations are integral components of both semesters.

Advanced Placement of World History - is equivalent to college-level history coursework. Students in this course will discover history not in the perspective of the western world, but the views of the non-European world that includes Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere before the arrival of Europeans, and South America. Nevertheless, this course will cover, but not emphasize European history and American history. While topics are grouped in chronological order, a comprehensive approach will be implemented to educate students the political, economic, social, racial, and gender issues throughout history from pre-civilization period to the modern world.

Advanced Placement of United States History - is equivalent to college-level history coursework. The year-long Advanced Placement United States History course examines social, political, cultural, and economic history from prehistory to the present. Through analyzing documents, writing essays, and developing critical thinking skills, students explore the validity of historical evidence. Students are introduced to historiography, and, in turn, they learn how to formulate their own historical arguments. The course also features debates, trips, and some historical role-play. A.P. United States History includes a substantial amount of reading and writing, and, therefore, students will need to develop time management skills.

Advanced Placement of Psychology - is equivalent to college-level history coursework. Advanced Placement Psychology can be thought of as a “bridge-to-college” course that is designed to introduce high school students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students will explore the history and development of psychology through the work of historical psychologists and researchers. In addition, students will be exposed to important approaches, concepts, and theories of psychology. Ultimately, students will develop critical thinking skills so that they can apply their knowledge of psychology to understand the development of our behaviors as well as the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. The aim of the course is to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses.

Advanced Placement of Microeconomics – is equivalent to college-level history coursework. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the economic principles that apply to decision makers in the economic system. They will learn the fundamental concepts of scarcity, choice, opportunity cost and production possibility curves. They will learn how markets work: the principles of supply and demand and elasticity. They will use supply and demand to examine government policies. This will be followed by individual and market demand curves. Students will learn about the organization of industry: firm production costs and revenue, perfect and imperfect competition. Students will learn skills in economic analysis, and be able to interpret many graph models.

Advancement placement of United States Government and Politics -is equivalent to college- level history coursework. AP United States Government and Politics is a one-semester, college level course offered to students who wish to be academically challenged. It is a survey course that provides an introduction into the inner workings of American government. It will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States . This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U .S . government and politics and the analysis of specific examples . It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U .S . government and politics .

Advancement placement of Comparative Government and Politics - is equivalent to college-level history coursework. Comparative Government is a semester long college level political science course that provides students with a solid understanding of the methodical method behind political comparison.This course is designed to give the student a basic understanding in Comparative Government and Politics, highlighting the world’s multiple political structures and practices. The course covers the study of specific nations and concepts interpreting key political relationships in national polities.

Advanced Placement of Human Geography – Students in Advanced Placement of Human Geography will gain understanding on the relationship between human activities and the physical setting of the world throughout history. This course will educate students on how geographical features influence human activities as well as how human activities impact our world. While students will be exposed to the writings and ideas of numerous philosophers that attempted to explain the interconnections between the two, they will be required to use maps, charts, and graphs to develop critical analysis and observational skills.

This one-year college-level course aims to prepare student both intensive content knowledge and reading and writing skills. Students in this course will acquire strong geographical skills far beyond students in regular high school history and geography classes. By the end of this course, they will develop necessary observational skills such as critical analysis and comparison through rigorous verbal debates and discussions and writing exercises, which are essential to understand and explain the relationship between man-made historical turning points and the natural world.