Social Studies Department

Required Courses

9th grade - Analyzing the Modern World: A Case Study Approach

Length/Credit: 1 semester/0.5 credit

Description: This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of a non-Western region of the world where interaction with the West has had a significant impact on the history, geography, politics and economics of that area. Students will study 1) the history of the region, 2) encounters with the West and responses, and 3) the impact of these encounters on the region today. The course will require students to utilize a variety of sources and complete a research project in order to understand varying perspectives about the region. The class will culminate in a round table summit where students research the current situation in the region and engage in an in-depth dialogue on critical issues.

10th grade - Modern World History: 1400 to the Present

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Description: This is a required 10th grade course designed to help students develop a broad and enduring understanding of important developments in modern world history. Prominent themes in the course include the development of modern political and economic institutions, imperialism and anticolonial movements, ethnic conflict and cross-cultural understanding, and war and peace. We also focus on developing social studies skills: critical analysis of primary and secondary sources, collaborative discussion and deliberation, and evidence-based writing.

11th grade - United States History Options

(students must select one of these two options to meet graduation requirements):

Option 1: Honors American Studies - Social Studies

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Note: Honors American Studies is taught in a block class, team-teaching model, covering both English and Social Studies content (American Literature and U.S. History) for two class periods each semester. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn 1.0 Social Studies credit and 1.0 English credit. The block course fulfills State of Washington requirements for US History and one credit of 11th grade English.

Students have the option of taking the AP US History exam in May, which will require additional student-directed preparation (and a fee of $95).

Description: Honors American Studies will provide an integrated examination of American culture. Students will study political, economic, social and literary history. The presentation of the material will be both thematic and chronological. Students will demonstrate higher order critical thinking skills in addition to the acquisition of knowledge about American history and literary development. A major component of the course will be in developing writing, reading and critical thinking skills, including techniques for the research and production of major papers. Students will be expected to participate in oral assessments, presentations and group discussions.

Option 2: United States History

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Note: This course fulfills State of Washington requirements for US History/Government.

Description: US History is a year-long course that provides students with the historical framework and background to understand contemporary issues occurring in the United States. Students will study American society, politics, and economics through a process of inquiry and collaboration. In each unit, they will address essential questions by examining various perspectives, experiences, topics, and events in order to explain how the past has informed the present. This course will enable students to develop the critical thinking, discussion, writing, and research skills necessary to become informed and action oriented citizens.

12th grade - Civics Requirement Options

(students must select one of these two options to meet graduation requirements):

  1. Civics course (1 semester) in the senior year.

OR

  1. AP US Government & Politics (1 full year) in the junior or senior year.

Civics

Length/Credit: 1 semester/0.5 credit

Description: This course will equip students to fulfill their role as United States citizens. In the modern media age and with the explosion of information, how do we know what is true and what to trust? We start the course by developing up to date media literacy skills; how to find accurate, reliable information. We will then move on to examine the fundamental structures of government and how to participate in the system. Finally, students will become experts in current policy areas such as criminal justice, immigration, the opioid crisis, income inequality, etc. and develop some policy solutions to these problems.

or

AP US Government & Politics

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12. Successful completion of both semesters of the course fulfills the Civics requirement. Summer reading is required and students are expected to take the AP US Government & Politics exam in May.

Description: This class is a year-long, college course designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of government and politics in the United States and prepare students to take the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam. The course will include the study of broad concepts needed to understand U.S. politics and government as well as analysis of specific examples of these systems. It will require familiarity with ideas, individuals, groups and institutions that make up U.S. politics. Students study topics such as Federalism and the Separation of Powers, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and the institutions of government: Congress, the Executive Branch, the Bureaucracy and the Federal Judiciary. Students will be expected to examine both textbook readings and primary sources, complete research assignments, participate in discussions and write free response essays in order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to perform successfully on the AP exam.

**Advanced Placement Course Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam, determined by The College Board each year. BHS has scholarship funds available to students to cover this fee as needed. Students enrolled in an AP class will be required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May. College credits may be granted based upon individual performance on this test and the policy of the college attended.

Year-Long Social Studies Electives

AP European History

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12 as a Social Studies elective, however it does not replace American Studies or Civics. Students are required to take the AP European History Exam in May.

Description: This year-long, rigorous course examines the political, social and cultural history of modern Europe. Students will investigate how the driving forces of each age manifest themselves in art and literature as well as in politics and social movement. The second half of the course focuses on the creation of nationalism as a historical process both as a tool of the governments and as a social movement in local settings. Finally, the social and cultural upheavals of post-Cold War Europe and the economic, political, and social challenges facing the European Union today.

**Advanced Placement Course Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam, determined by The College Board each year. BHS has scholarship funds available to students to cover this fee as needed. Students enrolled in an AP class will be required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May. College credits may be granted based upon individual performance on this test and the policy of the college attended.

AP Psychology

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12 as a Social Studies elective, however it does not replace American Studies or Civics. Students are required to take the AP Psychology Exam in May.

Description: This year-long, rigorous course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students will study core psychological concepts, neuroscience, sensation, perception, and consciousness. Students will also investigate how people learn and think, how memory works, the process of human development and human aggression, altruism, intimacy, and self-reflection, in addition to forming meaningful synthesis, and how to gauge human reaction. An exploration of psychological disorders and therapies used by professional counselors and clinical psychologists will also be a significant part of the course. This course is equivalent to an introductory college-level survey course and will prepare students for the AP exam and for further studies in psychology or life sciences.

**Advanced Placement Course Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam, determined by The College Board each year. BHS has scholarship funds available to students to cover this fee as needed. Students enrolled in an AP class will be required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May. College credits may be granted based upon individual performance on this test and the policy of the college attended.

AP US Government & Politics

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12. Successful completion of both semesters of the course fulfills the Civics requirement. Summer reading is required and students are required to take the AP US Government & Politics Exam in May.

Description: This class is a year-long, college course designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of government and politics in the United States and prepare students to take the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam. The course will include the study of broad concepts needed to understand U.S. politics and government as well as analysis of specific examples of these systems. It will require familiarity with ideas, individuals, groups and institutions that make up U.S. politics. Students study topics such as Federalism and the Separation of Powers, Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and the institutions of government: Congress, the Executive Branch, the Bureaucracy and the Federal Judiciary. Students will be expected to examine both textbook readings and primary sources, complete research assignments, participate in discussions and write free response essays in order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to perform successfully on the AP exam.

**Advanced Placement Course Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam, determined by The College Board each year. BHS has scholarship funds available to students to cover this fee as needed. Students enrolled in an AP class will be required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May. College credits may be granted based upon individual performance on this test and the policy of the college attended.

AP Economics

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Note: This course is open to students in grades 10-12. Students are required to take the AP Microeconomics exam and the AP Macroeconomics exams in May.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Algebra II

Description: This course goes beyond the basic economic principles to explore the social issues that are at the core of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students will develop understanding of individual and corporate economic choices, analyzing both the motivation and impact of those choices. The course looks closely at the performance of the American economy, with attention given to the potential policy tools of taxes, government spending, and interest rates, and the role of the United States in the global economy.

**Advanced Placement Course Fee: There is a fee for AP Exam, determined by The College Board each year. BHS has scholarship funds available to students to cover this fee as needed. Students enrolled in an AP class will be required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May. College credits may be granted based upon individual performance on this test and the policy of the college attended.

Honors Humanities (Social Studies)

Length/Credit: 1 year/1.0 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of American Studies

Note: This course is open to students in grade 12 as a Social Studies elective; however it does not replace Civics. Humanities is taught in a 2- period block class. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn 1.0 Social Studies credit and 1.0 English credit. This is a year-long course with challenging texts. It may not be dropped at mid-year without the instructor’s recommendation.

Description: Humanities is an interdisciplinary, team-taught honors seminar that engages students in timeless human questions: Do humans have free will? How do we know what we know? What is justice? What constitutes legitimate power? What is the nature of the divine? How can we live virtuous lives? Is there absolute truth? The structure of the course is that of a college seminar, with students reading challenging texts and using class discussion to better understand the works themselves, the issues they explore, and what they reveal about humanity. Readings come from some of the world’s most revered texts, ranging from Plato’s Republic to Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, and assessments focus on critical analysis of complex text and ideas. Most importantly, students engage daily in critical, relevant and thought-provoking discussion, eventually coming to answer some of humanity’s most important questions themselves. Humanities is considered by former students to be excellent preparation for college and for life itself.

Semester-Long Social Studies Electives

Culture, Power and Society

Length/Credit: 1 semester/0.5 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12 as a Social Studies elective, however it does not replace American Studies or Global Citizenship.

Description: Using a Socratic seminar format of both large and small circles, this class will carefully explore and discuss important issues such as: racism, prejudice, feminism and cultural differences. Using readings drawn from social psychology, multicultural books (for example, Educated and Invisible Man) and supplementary materials and films, we will look at the impact of society on individual identity in areas such as social cognition, conformity, prejudice and human aggression. In addition to completing weekly readings, various assessments and lively discussions, students will also engage in special projects and/or performances. Skills students will develop include seminar leadership, participation and active listening.

World Religions

Length/Credit: 1 semester/.5 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 11 or 12 as a Social Studies elective, however it does not replace American Studies or Global Citizenship.

Description: Humans around the world, from every diverse culture face the same fundamental questions of life. What happens when we die? Is there a God? What is right and what is wrong? Religions provide answers to these questions, they provide philosophies that help people make sense of a confusing world and are some of the most powerful forces shaping people’s lives. This course explores the fundamental beliefs of five contemporary world religions and also examines a specific case study of each religion to see how these ancient beliefs are played out in a modern context. Course work includes challenging reading assignments and quizzes, exams, and projects.

Psychology

Length/Credit: 1 semester/0.5 credit

Notes: This course is open to students in grades 10, 11 or 12 as a Social Studies elective.

Description: This course explores various topics in the field of psychology including 1) What is Psychology: Introduction to the Mind and Brain, 2) Senses and Perception, 3) States of Consciousness, 4) Learning, 5) Memory, 6) Developmental Psychology, 7) Gender Roles, 8) Personality, 9) Social Psychology, 10) Abnormal Psychology, 11) Therapy and Treatment. Although this is not a self-help class, you will have the tools of psychology to begin to understand the complexities of human behavior.