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Kennedy Catholic Social Studies

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” — Michael Crichton

Department Overview

Kennedy Catholic Prep’s Social Studies Department offers a variety of course offerings. Through these courses, the Social Studies department provides coordinated, systematic study that draws upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, belief systems, and sociology, as well as upon appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences.

The primary purpose of the Social Studies Department is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

In addition to understanding the important lessons of the past the Social Studies department aims to prepare students to make sure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college, a career, and a future as a productive adult and citizen.

Social Studies Courses Offerings

In Grades 9 and 10 Social Studies, students will examine Global History and Geography. This two -year sequence is arranged chronologically beginning with the Paleolithic Era and continuing through the present.

Grade 9 – Prehistoric era up to the year 1750

Pre-AP World History

Pathway 1 focuses on developments in world history from the ancient period through c. 1450 CE.

Unit 1: Geography and World Regions

Unit 2: The Ancient Period, to c. 600 BCE

Unit 3: The Classical Period, c. 600 BCE to c. 600 CE

Unit 4: The Postclassical Period, c. 600 CE to c. 1450 CE

Pre-AP World History Honors is available for Honors students pending department approval

Grade 10 – World History 1750 to present world

World History or AP Modern History

A study of modern world history present day starting with 1450- present

• AP World History Modern is expected to be introduced fall 2024

• AP World History Modern students will study modern history from 1250 to present day

• College credit available for AP World Modern available through College Board

Grade 11 – Early American History to present era

U.S. History or AP U.S. History

Both courses begin with the colonial and constitutional foundations of the United States and explores the government structure and functions written in the Constitution. The development of the nation and the political, social, and economic factors that led to the challenges our nation faced in the Civil War are addressed. Industrialization, urbanization, and the accompanying problems are examined, along with America’s emergence as a world power, the two world wars of the 20th century, and the Cold War. Students explore the expansion of the federal government, the threat of terrorism, and the place of the United States in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world.

Offers an in-depth study of American History from European settlement to present day

• Advanced Placement (APUSH) available for our honors students

• College credit available for AP US available through College Board

AP US History

The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. The class prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students will learn to assess historical materials – their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance – and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.

Students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in nine historical periods from approximately 1491 to the present. Students develop and use the same skills and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change. The course also provides eight themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: American and national identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration and settlement; politics and power; America in the world; American and regional culture; and social structures.

Grade 12 – Civics and Economics

This course aims to provide students with opportunities to become engaged in the political process by acquiring the knowledge and practicing the skills necessary for active citizenship. Content specifications are not included, so that the course can adapt to present local, national, and global circumstances, allowing teachers to select flexibly from current events to illuminate key ideas and conceptual understandings. Participation in government and in our communities is fundamental to the success of American democracy.

“Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance” examines the principles of the United States free market economy in a global context. Students will examine their individual responsibility for managing their personal finances. Students will analyze the role of supply and demand in determining the prices individuals and businesses face in the product and factor markets, and the global nature of these markets. Students will study changes to the workforce in the United States, and the role of entrepreneurs in our economy, as well as the effects of globalization. Students will explore the challenges facing the United States free market economy in a global environment and various policy-making opportunities available to government to address these challenges.

AP – Psychology

The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.

AP – Politics

The course framework within this course and exam description is a model of political and ideological balance. It will not only help students understand the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. political system, but will also help them become informed citizens who are willing to preserve, protect, and defend the rights and liberties at the core of our nation’s charter. That is why we are delighted to partner with the College Board on a series of classroom lessons and materials that support instruction in AP U.S. Government and Politics and help bring balanced constitutional content to students across America.

AP – Macroeconomics

AP Macroeconomics is an introductory college-level macroeconomics course. Students cultivate their understanding of the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole by using principles and models to describe economic situations and predict and explain outcomes with graphs, charts, and data as they explore concepts like economic measurements, markets, macroeconomic models, and macroeconomic policies.

Department Leadership