What is History? How does History help us understand today’s world? Whose History are we studying? The Global History and Social Sciences curriculum provides students with the opportunity to learn about History from global perspectives, looking at, analyzing, and thinking critically about primary and non-U.S. sources. Our students also examine the struggles the U.S. faced in its pursuit of the ideals of justice and equality for all —while also exploring topics and issues experienced by marginalized and underrepresented groups who traditionally receive little attention in history books. Identifying and alleviating gaps in the historical narrative provides opportunities for students to learn about others’ lived experiences. The global dimension of the curriculum demonstrates the wide variety of themes students will deal with in each course. The Global History and Social Sciences student is a critical thinker with an awareness and understanding of religious, political, social, cultural, and economic issues. Differentiation, project-based learning, and the use of technology are also important parts of the curriculum.


30 credits are required for graduation.


In grades 10 through 12, students may elect to take their Global History and Social Science course at the honors level. Honors students are expected to be leaders in class discussions, to maintain a high level of enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity, and to demonstrate a superior level of critical analysis in all written work and on honors-specific prompts on assessments. Earning Honors credit requires that after electing Honors and agreeing to the honors policy, that the student continues to live up to these expectations.

Course Descriptions

9th Grade 

Global History I: U.S. History

Nation and Nationalism 
If you could build your own nation, what would it be like? In this class, you will have the opportunity to understand how nations are built, how they expand, and how national identity is shaped and cemented through culture, politics, conflict, and division. You will also evaluate the goals of the U.S. as a new nation, its decisions to embrace democracy,  and examine how citizens have shaped its course toward these goals since its founding amidst ever-evolving global challenges and opportunities.

The Age of Reforms
From Sectionalism, including Reconstruction, through the suffrage movement, this course examines the root causes of the political, social, economic, and cultural reform movements that have existed in the United States. How successful were those reformers, and how did some of their objectives become part of mainstream political discourse? 
Can a true democracy adequately respond to the will of the majority while protecting the rights and interests of all citizens? Using multiple perspectives and sources, you will learn about the people and movements that helped shape the United States and then assess the effectiveness of those movements.  

10th Grade 

Global History II: U.S. and World History

From Power to Superpower (Required)
From the Spanish American War to the beginning of the Cold War, this course will explore the evolution of the U.S. as a global superpower, its territorial expansion, its foreign policy and involvement in different wars and conflicts. You will examine how governments garner popular support for military and humanitarian interventions abroad and how the outcomes of these actions have affected and been affected by political decision-making and geopolitical interests.

A Time for Change
From the advent of modern steel-making and new forms of communication like the telegraph to the election of the first African American president, students will explore change and evolution in politics (role of government, gender, race), culture (music and art), economics and technology and examine how the U.S. developed as the nation it is today. This course provides students a bird’s eye view of American society through the lens of significant events in the 20th and 21st centuries that have affected and continue to challenge the nation and the world.

11th Grade 

Global History III: World History

Empires, Colonization, Resistance and Independence (Required)
When you think of empires, which ones do you think of and why? Are empires only nation-states? Students will explore the characteristics that make up an empire and how they are sustained with or without war. How are people affected by the rise and fall of empires?  What are the political, economic, social, and environmental impacts of their rise and fall? In this course, students will examine the different shapes of imperialism, the legacy of empires, decolonization efforts, resistance movements, and the paths towards independence.

Juniors are encouraged to take a second term of history and can choose from any of the available History electives.

Global History and Social Sciences Electives

Advanced History: Independent Research (Honors)

An intensive, inquiry-based course that will require students to pursue an advanced independent course of research on a topic of their choice. Students in this small section will be expected to work through a number of multi-step research assignments that will include producing research based papers, research based presentations, and participate in a number of research challenges and research projects.  This course is designed to hone the research skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and dissemination and is designed for the student who is interested in possibly pursuing advanced humanities research in college.
Limit per class: 14 students.

Governments From Around the World

How do governments of the world work together in dealing with geopolitical issues? This course will explore the various governmental systems of the world in existence today. It will also examine why democracy thrives in some areas of the world and what factors hinder it in others. Over the course of a term, students will be exposed to governmental systems from all corners of the globe. Ultimately, through those explorations, students will critically engage with global contemporary issues and the challenges associated with the various governments in existence.

Identity, Race, and Class

How have we been socialized to perpetuate stereotypes and biases toward groups of people? How do gender and identity intersect with race and class? Students will examine the work of some of the most important thinkers on race, class consciousness, and identity. Students will be encouraged to engage in authentic, personal discussions and to connect their experiences to other global voices.

Religions and Beliefs

Ever wonder why, despite ideals of religious freedom and acceptance, different religious groups and religions of the world unite or lead into conflict? In this course, students will explore a wide range of religious and spiritual ideologies including their origins, beliefs/practices, and adaptations over time. Investigations into how belief systems shape contemporary politics, government, and conflict will also be explored.

The Media and Its Influences

From the printing press to widespread use of social media, the creation of news content has been defined and redefined by the technology of its historical time. Using today’s media landscape, students will examine what qualifies as news, what ethical questions are presented in journalism, and how we are impacted today by those that craft, manipulate, and distribute the message. Students will use different media tools and platforms to question, challenge, and deconstruct media messages and their biases. Students will become better equipped to read the world and understand the news.

Theories of Justice (BVR-X)

Is economic inequality unjust? Is the government justified in restricting your freedom if it does so to improve your life? Using philosophical ideas by which one might understand justice, students will engage in conversations with experts and take part in a series of project-based learning activities as they examine complex problems and develop solutions to issues that challenge some of their perspectives on fairness and the meaning of societal justice. In this course, students will explore a range of topics related to affirmative action, artificial intelligence, distribution of resources, euthanasia,, drug policy, corporate social responsibility, and environmental justice.

Open to 11th and 12th graders 

Advanced History: Theories of Punishment (Honors)

What aspects of culture and politics promote criminal justice reform? How can the United States achieve an effective justice system that protects public safety while also confronting issues related to restoration for those impacted by crime, both the victim and the accused? Is the prison industrial complex used by the government and industry to address social, political and economic challenges? In this course, students are introduced to criminology and penology.  Students will examine historical trends, current programs related to reform, and examine the psychological impact and role that poverty, lack of mental health services, addiction, trauma, and education has had on the lives of incarcerated people. They will participate in forums led by people whose work or volunteerism is connected to addressing existing issues within the system and engage in field-based experiences. Students will explore topics of choice and design viable solutions.

Open to 12th graders only.