We are not makers of history. We are made by history. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The social studies faculty help students understand ongoing historical patterns and the interconnectedness of the human experience. We strive to provide students with the historical background and analytical tools necessary to comprehend and evaluate social, political, religious, intellectual, technological, and economic events. Through collaboration, students and teachers create classroom environments that are conducive to learning, in which a variety of learning activities are used to reach students of varying learning styles. Our aim is to inspire students to be positive contributors and responsible citizens of the world.
This course will have students explore the world’s civilizations, including their historical, cultural, political, social, economic and geographical dimensions. Students will be analyzing these various developments and their impact of the histories of the world around us. Students will examine the past while keeping a keen eye on the present. Students will make connections between the history of the world and the realities of today. Emphasis will be placed on the period from 1450 to the present.
This college preparatory course examines human geography as a social science, emphasizing the relevance of current geographic concepts that face humans today. Students comprehend the significance of time and place as variables in shaping culture and society, and evaluate a wide range of historical evidence across time periods. Students become geographers who describe the global distribution of people and activities and discover the historical context underlying them. The key topics covered are population growth and migration, cultural traits and beliefs, political issues arising from cultural diversity, industry and food supply, and settlements/urbanization. Students analyze the tensions between globalization and cultural diversity, connect human actions to global consequences, and develop solutions for real-world problems.
The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface . Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences . They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. This rigorous course allows students to experience unique cultures, problem solve contemporary issues and broaden their world view.
Students will become experts in various cultural groups around the world. Students will connect how geography plays a role in cultural development. Students will develop a greater understanding and familiarity of geography and how regions affect the cultural traditions and distinctions of cultures around the world. Through rigorous reading, critical thinking, presentations and mapping, students will learn about the beginnings of a civilization and the developments of culture and traditions throughout history. As geography plays a role in the development and changes within a culture, this course offers opportunities to review and practice geography skills and brings opportunity of understanding the effects of geography on cultural areas throughout time as well as the students' local region. Throughout this course of study, students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the values, differences, and the uniqueness of cultures around the world.
Two Semesters: Grade 11 PREREQUISITE: Departmental Approval
AP American History is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in United States History. The program is equivalent to a full-year introductory college course, and prepares students for advanced college courses. Students learn to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. The course develops the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. The AP exam is required of all students enrolled in the course. Summer reading is also required.
This course is an examination of the people, events, movements and institutions of American history from exploration to the present. It facilitates an understanding of what experiences and values we share with other people of other times and places and in what respects we are different. It serves as a background for understanding the diverse nation in which the students are to become responsible citizens. This course emphasizes the twentieth century and the events that helped to shape the students’ country today.
This course examines the history of surfing informed by current historical scholarship, including perspectives from the history of politics; economics; science and technology; colonization and the developing world; sex, ethnicity, and gender; the environment; and popular culture. The Santa Barbara coastline, including Goleta Beach, Isla Vista, and Gaviota, is an excellent example of both coastal engineering and the political response. This course will connect local issues to their broader historical context. These brief examples demonstrate the need to look beyond a simple pop-culture view of surfing to one that embraces all historical disciplines. The course will take advantage of California and Santa Barbara’s presence in surfing history by incorporating structured oral histories of prominent figures in coastal politics and the surf industry, including environmental activism and preservation. Students will thus gain an introduction to the practice of oral history and its methodological possibilities and pitfalls.
Two Semesters: Grade 12 PREREQUISITE: Departmental Approval
This advanced course prepares students to take the AP Exam in American Government, while at the same time fulfilling the requirement for one semester of Economics. Emphasis is placed on developing a sound understanding of the American political system. Students also examine the fundamental principles of economics and their application to the American economic system and the world community. The AP exam is required of all students enrolled in the course.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the structure, development, and operation of our system of government. Foreign affairs are emphasized in the units dealing with the presidency and Congress. Special attention is given to contemporary issues and events which involve our government and its citizens. Students taking this course study the points of view and major concepts of political science, gain an understanding of the legal system, and develop an appreciation for ethical considerations. Students learn methods of solving problems, making decisions, and participating as effective citizens of the United States. Summer reading is required.
This course encompasses the study of the foundations of economics, focusing on theories of economics and key economic concepts, including supply and demand, inflation, unemployment, money, and components of market economy systems. Current events will illustrate the history and theory of economics.