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Social Studies

The Social Studies Department exists to develop a perception of the self and the role of the individual in society, to understand the beliefs of a democratic society in order to become active and responsible citizens.

Academically, students will develop verbal and written expression skills, research skills, and thinking and evaluation skills that can be used in the political environment in which they live, and to enjoy academic success in any Social Studies course they may take at the collegiate level.

Civics

Honors, Accelerated, CP - Courses #611, 612, 613, Full Year, 1 Credit, All Freshmen

This is a survey course in American government at all levels - federal, state, and local. Students study the origins of the American political system, the institutions that American politics has fostered such as the Presidency and political parties, the methods of making public policy, political ideology, and the electoral process. Emphasis is placed on the development of reading comprehension skills along with writing and public speaking skills. Cooperative (group) learning projects are also used to actively engage students in our American Democracy.

World History

Honors, Accelerated, CP - Course #621, 622, 623, Full year, 1 Credit, Sophomores

This one-year survey course studies the major personalities, places, events, and movements that encompass the panorama of World History. The academic year is divided into two semesters. The fall semester focuses on non-western civilization while the spring semester serves as a study of western civilization. The emphasis of instruction is "historical understanding" which is defined as the ability of students to recount and analyze human aspirations in the five spheres of human activity: social, political, scientific/technological, economic, and cultural. In order to enhance their analytical and critical thinking skills, students will be asked to complete a variety of assessment tasks, including quizzes, tests and essays, as well as individual and cooperative learning projects.

US History ECE

Honors, Accelerated, CP - Courses #634, 632, 633, Full year, 1 Credit, Juniors) (Course #634 is a UCONN ECE Course. This class currently earns 6 credits through the Early College Experience Program at the University of Connecticut.

United States History is a basic survey course which is separated into two semesters. The first semester begins with discussions on the European settlement of the New World. From this point students examine topics which include the American Revolution, the early federal nation, the emergence of sectionalism, and the drama of the Civil War. The second half of the year begins with the construction of the modern union in the Industrial Age and the evolution of the United States as a world power. The second semester concludes with an analysis of the key triumphs and tragedies of the 20th century American experience.

Geography

CP - Course #6381, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course is a survey of key topics in geography. Areas of study include earth formations, locations (latitude and longitude), ecosystems, weather and climate, and cultural geography. Students are assessed through tests, quizzes, written assignments and projects.

Economics ECE

Honors - Course# 661, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This course is an Honors level introduction to the many concepts and principles of Economics. It is designed to familiarize students with the language of economics, its discipline, and its way of seeing the world. Among the discussion of current events and trends, students will come to understand the following; Micro-economics Topics: Scarcity and Production Possibility Curves, Supply and Demand Schedules, Factors involved in Production, Production Costs, Firms and outsourcing, Market Organization, International Trade, Income Inequality, Wealth and Poverty; Macro-Economics Topics: Taxes, Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, Debt and Deficits, Inflation, Downturns and Recessions. This class currently earns 3 credits through the Early College Experience program at the University of Connecticut.

Western Civ ECE

Honors - Course #6481, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors, UCONN ECE Course

This course covers Mediterranean and European history from the earliest civilizations until roughly the 16th century. We will survey the societies of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Hebrews, Greece, Rome, and Medieval Europe. Students will be introduced to cultures, societies, beliefs, and intellectual traditions that have shaped our civilization, with a particular focus on primary sources in philosophy, literature and art. Special attention will be paid to the rise of Christianity and the development of the Catholic Church; however, religious traditions such as Judaism and Islam will be explored as well. This class currently earns 3 credits through the Early College Experience program at the University of Connecticut. Pre-requisite: Approval by the Department Chairperson and Academic Dean.

Native American Culture & History

CP - Course #6391, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course explores the history of Native American peoples. Topics to be covered include Native American cultures of the Northeast, Southeast, Great Plains, Southwest, and Western/Northwestern Coast of North America. The course also focuses on the relationship between the environment and cultural evolution (folklore, spirituality, subsistence patterns, etc.) of the major tribes, a brief history of the respective tribes (including contact with Euro-American settlers), as well as the American Indian Movement of the 1970’s. The rebirth of the Connecticut based Mashantucket Pequot tribe is also investigated.

Law in America

Accelerated - Course #6611, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course provides students with the opportunity to analyze historical and contemporary issues in our American legal system. Topics covered in this course include Constitutional Law, the Litigation Process, Tort Law, Contract Law, and Criminal Law. Students will be assessed through homework, tests and essays, as well as legal debates. Students will also participate in a mock trial during the course.

Sociology

Accelerated - Course #6631, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course examines the relationships between various groups in human society, particularly those that exist in America. Students study the socialization process and how human beings shape and redefine their culture. In this context, students explore topics such as social class, race and ethnicity, sex and gender, age and the elderly and family relationships, as well as educational, religious and political institutions. The course concludes with an analysis of deviant/criminal behavior and how it affects society.

Psychology

Accelerated - Course #6651, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course explores the history and scientific methods of psychology, particularly the contributions of Wilhelm Wundt, Charles Darwin, William James, Ivan Pavlov, Sigmund Freud, John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, Erik Erickson, and Carl Rogers. Within this framework, students examine topics including personality and human development, the physiology of the brain and the nervous system, sensation and perception, cognitive processes, intelligence, creativity, emotion, stress, normal and abnormal social behavior. Careers in psychology will also be explored.

Modern US History

Accelerated - Course #6663, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

This course closely examines United States History from the end of World War II in 1945 to the present. Major themes include the affluence and conformity of the 1950’s, the social and political turbulence of the 1960’s, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, civil rights, the Great Society, Watergate, the Reagan years, the Clinton White House as well as the challenges of the post-Cold War world, the increasing global community, and various expressions of popular culture. Students will be evaluated using tests, quizzes, cooperative (group) projects and papers.

Leadership in the Modern World

Accelerated - Course #6641, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

The main focus of this course is a study of the philosophical foundations needed for leadership and the connection to public service. Included is the study of fundamental leadership principles as a foundation for a moral life and moral decision making using the principle centered leadership method. This course will explore the lives of historical and current leaders from a wide range of backgrounds including the military, politics, sports, media and our own community. The objective of this course is for students to understand the historical roots of our conceptions of leadership and what it takes to make a difference in the world as servants of the common good and leaders of social progress.


Military History

Accelerated - Course #6692, Semester Course, .5 Credit, Seniors

Military History provides an overview of the history of warfare and its influence on human history and human political, social and cultural institutions. Particular attention is paid to warfare in the context of Western Civilization and further focuses on the Catholic church’s response to the idea of warfare in the world. There is a strong focus on the intellectual traditions that have emerged from various cultures to explain and to justify warfare; in particular, Catholic Just War doctrine and the history of warfare within the Catholic Tradition will be discussed extensively.

AP American Politics

AP - Course #6523, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors

This course provides students with an understanding of the operation of American government. Topics that are examined in this one year course of study include pre-constitutional convention politics, the Constitutional Convention, Congress and lawmaking, the role of lobbyists and the media in national politics, campaigns, primaries and elections, political participation and voting behavior, the history of political parties, partisanship and political ideology, the evolution of the Presidency and its powers, civil liberties and civil rights, and significant Supreme Court decisions.

Students are selected for this course by an application process, which includes recommendations from members of the Social Studies and Guidance Departments and approval by the Academic Dean. Previous grades in Social Studies courses, as well as an examination of writing samples, are additional criteria used to determine acceptance.

AP Modern European History ECE

AP - Course #654, Full Year, 1 Credit, Seniors, UCONN ECE Course

In this course students explore the contours of Modern European history from roughly 1300 to the present. After brief stops in ancient Greece and Rome and the early Middle Ages, we examine in detail other topics including the Renaissance and Reformation, the vibrant eighteenth century, the French Revolution, nationalism, socialism and the intellectual currents of the nineteenth century, and wars and political crises of the twentieth century. Political, diplomatic, social, economic, cultural, and intellectual trends will be examined. Since this is an Advanced Placement course, research, analysis, writing, and document-based assessments are central. This class currently earns 3 credits through the Early College Experience program at the University of Connecticut. Pre-requisite: Approval by the Department Chairperson and Academic Dean.

AP World History

AP - Course #620, Full year, 1 Credit, Sophomores

AP World History is a two-semester survey of developments in global history from the outset of civilization to the present. The course is taught at a first-year college level to students in the tenth grade. The course emphasizes comparative development of all world civilizations and prepares students for the AP test in World History offered by the College Board. Students are expected to analyze and synthesize historical data in innovative ways. The course demands students demonstrate critical thinking skill and advanced writing capability. Students are selected for this course by an application process, which includes recommendations from members of the Social Studies and Guidance Departments and approval by the Academic Dean. Previous grades in Civics as well as an examination of writing samples are additional criteria used to determine acceptance.

AP US History ECE

AP - Course #631, Full Year, 1 Credit, Juniors, UCONN ECE Course

This course is a two-semester survey of American history from the age of exploration and discovery to the present. It provides students with the opportunity to analyze topics and events in U.S. history at an undergraduate college level. Because of this expectation, students will be asked to do extensive reading and writing throughout the course of the year. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, and interpretation of original documents. This class currently earns 6 credits through the Early College Experience program at the University of Connecticut. Students are selected for this course by an application process, which includes recommendation from members of the Social Studies and Guidance Departments and the Academic Dean. Previous grades in Civics and World History, as well as an examination of writing samples, are additional criteria used to determine acceptance.

Social Studies Faculty

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William Braychak

William Braychak

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Brendan Donohue

Brendan Donohue

Email:
Robert Guyon

Robert Guyon

Aaron King

Aaron King

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Robert King

Robert King

Email:
James Royce

James Royce

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