Being able to trace influential ideas through time and see the relationship between historic and current events constitutes the emphasis in this subject area.
During the first year of High School, American history is covered in a series of four sections, beginning with the pre-Columbian period and continuing through modern day. Focus is placed on enabling students to understand the geographical and historical context of national current events.
In the second year, students take the World History course which is broken up into three sections: ancient Egypt through the fall of the Roman Empire; the Middle Ages through the American Revolution; and the French Revolution through present day. Again, emphasis is placed on evaluating major world events in modern times with an understanding of their historical roots. As with American History, students participate in weekly Current Events Seminars requiring individual research along with group discussion.
Advanced History Topics
There are a series of three advanced sections available to students with a specific interest in history. They are research-intensive and deal with major historical ideas and developments relative to present day.
Courses are also available in Criminal and Civil Justice and World Geography for students interested in pursuing these areas.
As part of the second year program, students will study the structure and function of the federal government, including reading and gaining a thorough understanding of the founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The purpose of the Current Events Program is to raise the students’ awareness and activity regarding their relationships with their country and the world. The end result is students with an interest in improving the survival potential of humankind and an improved orientation to their world and the ideas that shape it.
Current Events Seminars are held weekly, often supplemented with guest speakers. Students participate in research and discussion on significant issues of the day.
Headmistress Tea is an advanced Current Events Seminar for seniors. Each week students are assigned research on various aspects of a topic. Presentation and logic skills as well as research integrity are challenged in the ensuing group discussion or more formal debate.