Social Studies 11

United States History and AP United States History

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            To be informed and productive citizens, students require an understanding of the evolution of American society.  This junior-level core course surveys United States history from the arrival of European fortune settlers to the present and emphasizes cultural and governmental development, the role of minorities and special interest groups and the creation or myth of an American identity.  Through writing, reading, research and discussion, students become historians, developing their own interpretations of the United States and evaluating implications for the future.

            The Advanced Placement Program in United States History is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with problems and issues in American thought, culture and events.  The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those of full-year introductory college courses in United States History.  Course objectives include assessment of historical materials and their importance to interpretive problems, critiquing interpretations presented in historical scholarship, analysis and interpretation of primary sources, and critical and analytical writing.  Enrollment is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in social studies, have departmental approval, and approval of the Placement Committee.


AP European History

Grades 10, 11, 12; 1 Credit – Two Semesters

            The purpose of Advanced Placement European History is to introduce the student to the major themes and historical achievements of people of European heritage. By critically examining the major political, cultural, economic, and religious movements of the past, the student will gain a better understanding of Europe’s historical identity. The course will explore these events not only to look at the past, but as a means to gain insight into the causes of contemporary social issues that affect present European people. Thus, it will be important for each student to look at past issues with an eye toward the present. The purpose of this will be to help the student realize that certain recurring problems continue to influence people of today like their predecessors from the past. 

            More importantly, students will endeavor to uncover areas of continuity and change over time while simultaneously trying to judge various European actors from within the confines of their historical traditions. This will minimize placing anachronistic values on people from the past and it will make the student more aware of the various social and political events that helped shape our European ancestors. Finally, each student must understand the commitment and academic vigor of this course. Advanced Placement European History is for mature students who are willing to spend much time researching papers, homework assignments, and other materials in preparation for the Advanced Placement Exam and other comprehensive exams.


AP U.S. Government and politics

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit – Two Semesters

The Advanced Placement Government & Politics: United States course provides an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality.



Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            In this two semester course students will focus on learning microeconomics in the first semester regarding how individual businesses and consumers make decisions about how much to sell and buy and other concepts related to those decisions. The second semester will focus on macroeconomics regarding how banks and government make decisions on trade, taxes and money creation to promote economic growth. Demonstrated success in this course would allow a student to earn credit in AP Economics and sit for the AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics exams in May.

            Students registered for this course in conjunction with AP Economics students will be allowed to enroll in the summer semester Finance course which prepares students with in-depth knowledge and understanding for participation in the Frank Frederico ’00 Student Investment Fund.


Introduction to Psychology

Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Spring Semester

            This course explores what people do, how they think and why they act as they do.  Among topics explored are a biological framework for behavior, sensation, perception, consciousness, conditioning, learning, memory, language, as well as problem solving, intelligence, motivation, emotion, childhood, personality, stress, abnormal psychology, therapy, social perception and interaction.  Pioneers in psychology as well as contemporary psychologists are researched.


AP Psychology

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit – Two Semesters

            “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 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.” (The College Board) As determined by the college board topics will include the following: psychology as a science, research methods, the biological basis of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation and emotion, human development, personality, testing and intelligence, abnormal behavior, treatment of psychological disorders, and social psychology/group behavior.

            Students will prepare to do acceptable work on the Advanced Placement Examination in Psychology.  Students will study the major concepts and theories of psychology, incorporation psychological vocabulary in applying these theories to their everyday life.  Students will learn basic psychological research skills and be able to analyze the validity of psychological claims through careful examination.

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