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Course Description Guide 2019-20

Social Studies (2019-20)

Social Studies courses are a powerful way to widen student’s understanding of the world and promote leadership, citizenship, community and tolerance of divergent views.  Students start with a broad overview of history with Geography in the eighth grade and Western Civilization in the ninth grade. United States History is the focus of tenth grade, and then students are presented with a broad range of options for their junior and senior years that emphasize modern times, global issues and globalization itself.  We recognize that students develop and show interest in social studies at different rates, and so multiple options are provided at every grade, skill and interest level.

Students are required to take Social Studies each year. Both U.S. History and Government are required. One semester course in Religion is required. Scroll down for course sequence.

Social Studies

List of 12 items.

  • World Geography - Grade 8

    1 Credit

    In this study of world geography, students will make practical and effective use of physical and cultural viewpoints to investigate people, places, and settings on regional, national, and international stages. Students will determine the effect of geopolitics on the events of the past and present with priority given to current issues affecting the world. A considerable section of the course centers around the processes that shape the physical environment; the characteristics of major landforms, climates, and vegetation zones; the political, economic, and social systems that create cultural patterns of regions; how the world's population is distributed; the globally interdependent movement of the world's population; human-environmental interactions amongst people, places, and ecosystems; the effect of religion on cultural development; and how a regions location affects economic activities in diverse economic systems. Students will work primarily in groups to ask and answer geographic questions; learning to utilize an array of rich primary and secondary source materials and historiographical tools during the process of cultural and physical discovery.

    Units of Study
    Basic Geographic Skills
    Physical Geography
    Human Geography
    Economic Geography
    RVA Food Geography
    United States and Canada
    Latin America
    Europe
    Russia and Central Asia
    North Africa and Southwest Asia
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    South, Southeast, and East Asia
    Australia and Oceania
  • World History: Community and Conflict - Grade 9

    1 Credit

    Why do people create governments to achieve political, social, and economic order? Why is civilization so often in conflict? These and other questions will be answered over the course of the year in this thematically organized and project-based course. Units of study will include themes such as human migrations, development of agriculture, social and political revolutions, early belief systems, imperialism, global popular culture, and others.

    As a course for ninth graders transitioning to the academic demands of high school, special emphasis will be placed on helping students develop and apply learning strategies that can be used in this and future social studies courses as well as in other disciplines. Historical thinking skills such as chronological reasoning, analyzing primary sources, and the comparing and contrasting of historical events and interpretations will also be a focal point of this course. Students will work on developing their writing, critical reading, and research skills; as well as learning to work together to produce desired outcomes utilizing both modern and traditional research methods.

    Units of Study
    Historiography
    Patterns of Human Migration
    Systems of Faith
    From Social Movements to Political Revolutions
    Connections Across Land and Water
    Ideas that Shaped the Modern World
    Industrialization
    Colonial Identities
    Global War and Peace
    Globalization
  • Western Civilization Honors - Grade 9

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites:Teacher recommendation or strong reading and analytical skills.

    Western Civilization Honors is an intensive survey class for 9th grade students introducing world history from the origins of civilization through the 19th century with an emphasis on the role played by Western Civilization. While the course content focuses primarily on analyzing the development of the political, social, religious, cultural and economic history of Western Civilization, students will gain global perspective from examining the development of Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and African civilizations and their interactions with the West. Students learn through focused readings, primary source document analysis, analytical and explanatory writing assignments, group and individual projects, and class discussion. Upon completion of the course students will learn to identify themes in world history, use analytical skills of evaluation, recognize cause and effect, develop map and research skills, understand how to interpret and apply primary source documents. Students who have a passion for history and a desire to build the necessary skills required for IB and AP work in the Social Studies Department are encouraged to take Western Civilization Honors. The ability to write analytically, read carefully and think critically are key to success in the class.

    Units of Study
    Origins of Civilization
    Ancient Greek and Roman Civilization
    The World of Islam
    Medieval Christian Europe
    The Renaissance and Reformation
    Absolutism in Europe
    Enlightenment and Revolution
    19th Century Europe
  • United States History - Grade 10

    1 Credit

    This survey course will address key political, economic, social, and cultural events in the history of the United States from European colonization through the 20th century. Students will develop their writing and critical reading skills through analysis of primary source documents and historical research. The goal of this class is that students learn enough about the history of the United States to understand how and why American governmental and cultural institutions came to exist as they do today.

    Units of Study
    The Forming of a Nation
    Revolution, Independence, and the Constitution
    The Building of a Nation
    The Division of a Nation
    The Rebuilding and Expansion of a Nation
    Industrialization, Immigration, Urbanization, and Progressivism
    A Nation on a World Stage
    Prosperity and Change
    The Great Depression and the New Deal
    World War II
    Prosperity and Cold War
    The 1960s, Social Change, and War
    Conservative Reaction to Change
    The Present and the Future
  • United States History Honors - Grade 10

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation; Western Civilization Honors is preferred

    This year-long course is an introduction to the key ideas, events and people that have influenced the course of our nation's history. The primary goals of this course include the development of an understanding of American history and current events and the ability to make connections between them as well as mastering the historical skills of: persuasive writing, periodization, historiography, recognizing and evaluating bias, and continuity and change over time. Those who take the course should be open to developing a passion for US History even if they do not already possess one. Students will be aided in their futures by understanding how the nation and the world in which we live today was influenced by the people and events of our past, and will gain knowledge and skills to be more engaged civic participants as they grow towards adulthood.

    The class will seek to differentiate between political, social, economic, and military history. Persuasive essay writing is emphasized and students execute one major project per semester. Students are occasionally put into simulations, asked to put themselves in the position of historical figures, and are exposed to historical role-playing.

    Students will succeed in the class by reading all assigned readings, participating in class discussion, and engaging with the content. It is crucial that students be open-minded to the perspectives of other people. Students are exposed to primary source documents and asked to react to those historical documents.

    Units of Study
    Exploration and the Colonial Era
    Revolution and the Early Republic
    The Growth of a Young Nation
    The Union in Peril
    Changes on the Western Frontier
    A New Industrial Age
    Immigrants and Urbanization
    Life at the Turn of the Century
    The Progressive Era
    America Claims an Empire
    The First World War
    Politics of the Roaring Twenties
    The New Deal
    World War Looms
    The United States in World War II
  • Contemporary World History - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: United States History course

    Contemporary World History examines major events and trends in the contemporary world including the impact of industrialization, shifts in global power, increasing global interdependence and differing ideologies. Students will study the history of Europe and examine the role of the United States in world events; however, significant attention will be given to Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America to help students develop a broader global perspective. Skills emphasized in this class will include critical reading and writing.

    Units of Study
    The Industrial Age: Possibilities and Disruption
    The Age of Imperialism
    Japan, China, and India to WWI
    World War I and the Russian Revolution
    The 1920s: Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America
    From Wall Street to a Global Great Depression
    The Move to Global War: WWII
    The Cold War: US, Soviet Union, China
    Decolonization in a Cold War World
    Power Dynamics and Conflict in the Middle East
    The End of the Cold War and Beyond
  • Contemporary World History Honors - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites: United States History course and teacher recommendation

    Contemporary World History Honors examines major events and trends of the contemporary world including the impact of industrialization, shifts in global power, increasing global interdependence and differing ideologies. Students will study the history of Europe and examine the role of the United States in world events; however, significant attention will be given to Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America to help students develop a broader global perspective.

    Students will be exposed to many document-based questions, refining skills including source evaluation and corroboration, critical thinking, reading and writing.

    Units of Study
    The Industrial Age: Possibilities and Disruption
    The Age of Imperialism
    Japan, China, and India to WWI
    World War I and the Russian Revolution
    The 1920s: Europe, the US, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America
    From Wall Street to a Global Great Depression
    The Move to Global War: Germany, Italy, and Japan
    WWII and the Holocaust
    The Cold War: US, Soviet Union, China
    Decolonization in a Cold War World
    Power Dynamics and Conflict in the Middle East
    The End of the Cold War and Beyond
  • United States Government and Economics Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: United States History
    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This course, open only to seniors, seeks to familiarize students with the concepts on which our government and economic systems are built. Emphasis will be placed on the Constitutional Foundations of American Government, Political Participation, the Three Branches of our National Government, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Current events are used to reinforce understanding about the formation of public policy. Basic principles of Economics and Personal Finance are covered in the second semester.

    Units of Study
    Constitutional Foundations of American Government
    The Legislative Branch
    The Executive Branch
    The Judicial Branch
    Civil Liberties
    Civil Rights
    Basic Economic Principles
    Personal Finance
  • European History Honors - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: AP United States History or AP United States Government or United States History Honors or Contemporary World History Honors and teacher recommendation

    European History Honors is a rigorous course that provides students with an overview of major trends in European history. Special emphasis will be placed on the global wars of the 20th century, the impact of the Great Depression on the rise of authoritarian states, the Cold War, and major political and social trends of the 20th century. The development of research and writing skills will also be emphasized.  

    This class will be taught concurrently with IB History although students in honors will have a modified grading scale. Students will engage in research, writing, and reading assignments.  

    Units of Study
    European Diplomacy 1871-1914
    World War I
    Creating a Post War Order: the Paris Peace Talks
    Germany: Creation of the Weimar Republic-The Golden Age of Stresemann
    Fascism in Italy: Mussolini Consolidates Power, Domestic Policies, Expansion
    From a Republic to Dictatorship: Germany and the Rise of Hitler
    International Response to Italian and German Expansion
    Japanese Expansion and International Response
  • Global Politics Honors - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites: AP United States History or AP United States Government or United States History Honors or Contemporary World History Honors and teacher recommendation

    This course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies while preparing them for the IB Global Politics exam administered at the conclusion of their senior year. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. Students will learn through critical readings, class discussions, analytical writing, engagement activities, independent research and student presentations. It is crucial for students to have an interest in current issues, consider and be respectful of multiple viewpoints, and to work independently.

    This class will be taught concurrently with IB Global Politics although students in honors will have a modified grading scale. Students will engage in research, writing, and reading assignments.

    Units of Study
    Power, Sovereignty and International Relations
    Engagement Activity and Paper
    Human Rights
    Development
    Peace and Conflict
  • Geography Honors - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: AP United States History or AP United States Government or United States History Honors or Contemporary World History Honors and teacher recommendation

    Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places. These may be defined on a variety of scales and from the perspectives of a different range of actors, with varying powers over decision-making processes.

    Within individuals and societies subjects, geography is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates physical, environmental and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio‑economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

    This class will be taught concurrently with IB Geography although students in honors will have a modified grading scale. Students will engage in research, writing, and reading assignments.

    Units of Study
    Changing Population
    Global Climate - Vulnerability and Resistance
    Global Resource Consumption
    Freshwater - Drainage Basins
    Oceans and Coastal Margins
  • Economics Honors - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites: AP United States History or AP United States Government or United States History Honors or Contemporary World History Honors and teacher permission

    This rigorous year long course is designed to teach students much of the basic material for the IB Economics SL exam, but students will not take the actual IB SL exam in May. Rather, they will take in house semester exams in both Semester One and Semester Two. The course presents a survey of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The microeconomics semester is designed to give a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individuals as decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater equity in the economy. The macroeconomics semester gives students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.

    The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, and economic growth. In addition, students will also delve into international economics including basic international trade theory and growth, economic development, exchange rates, economic integration and balance of payments.

    Students will learn how the mixed economies of other countries that have more government involvement operate, and understand the problems faced by developing countries. A variety of real world examples will be used to illustrate and explain these principles. Document analysis and basic research skills are a must and higher order thinking skill use is mandatory as essay writing involving graphing, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and historical and economic argumentation skills are paramount. Students learn through lecture, focused readings, article analysis, class discussion, individual projects, graphing, oral presentations, and open debates on economic policy. Students interested in why economies and markets boom and bust and desire to know more about personal investing, globalization, and the United States place in the modern world are strongly encouraged to take this course. Strong reading comprehension, critical thinking skills including analysis, synthesis and evaluation, and graphing and math skills through Algebra 2/Trigonometry are necessary. The ability to complete all work consistently and to voluntarily seek extra help as needed is a must. A summer assignment is also completed before the return to school in August.

    Units of Study
    How to Think Like an Economist
    Basic Supply and Demand Theory
    Elasticity, Taxes, Subsidies and Market Failure
    Aggregate Demand, Aggregate Supply, Inflation, and Unemployment
    Basic Fiscal and Monetary Policy
    International Trade and Exchange Rate Systems: Globalization
    Economic Development

Social Studies Electives

List of 2 items.

  • Faith in Film - Grades 10-12

    .5 Credit
    Faith in Film does not count toward the religion graduation requirement.

    Faith in Film is a systematic theology class intended to examine and discuss the major tenets of the Christian faith.  These doctrines will then be illustrated through various genres of film. Students will analyze these doctrines and attempt to reconcile them to their personal beliefs.  Students do not have to confess Christianity to take this course but should have some interest in developing a deeper knowledge of Christianity. Certain movies viewed in the course are intended for mature minds; students must have parental consent to take this class. Key skills include: critical thinking skills, primary source document skills, and film analysis skills.

    Units of Study
    Christian Anthropology
    Demonology
    The Problem of Evil
    Paterology
    Christology
    Pneumatology
    Ecclesiology
    Eschatology
  • Politics and Film - Grades 10-12

    .5 Credit

    Politics in Film explores popular political topics such as education, civil liberties, and laws affecting teenagers. Students will engage and discuss the content of each issue. Film will be used as an interpretation and springboard to full analysis of the topic. Through journals and discussions, students will develop an understanding of how film informs and influences the way Americans view political issues. Certain movies viewed in the course are intended for mature minds; students must have parental consent to take the class. Key skills include: critical thinking skills, primary source document skills, and film analysis skills.

    Units of Study
    Equal Opportunity Laws
    Education
    Abortion
    Laws Affecting Teenagers
    Healthcare
    Lobby Groups
    Civil Liberties
    Foreign Policy
    Gun Laws
    Immigration Laws
    War on Drugs

IB and AP Social Studies

List of 11 items.

  • AP United States History - Grade 10

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Western Civilization Honors (a B minimum) and teacher recommendation
    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the AP exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.

    Advanced Placement United States History is a thorough and rigorous survey course organized by basic themes and time periods in order to introduce students to key ideas, events, and people that influenced the course of our nation’s history. The course seeks to apprentice students to the practice of history by explicitly stressing the development of a specific set of historical thinking skills while learning about the past. The seven basic themes are identity, work, exchange and technology, peopling, politics and power, America in the world, environment and geography and ideas, beliefs and culture. The nine time periods encompass 1000 AD-Present. Historical thinking skills emphasized include chronological reasoning, historical causation, continuity and change over time, periodization, comparison and contextualization, historical argumentation using relevant historical evidence, and historical interpretation and synthesis. Student’s best develop these skills through exploration and interpretation of a rich array of primary and secondary sources and through the regular development of historical argumentation in writing. Skills based assessment activities also include simulations, audiovisual aids, group activities and field trips. As most students first Advanced Placement course, attention is also paid to the development of sound study skills reflecting the different ways to study for different types of assessment. Students who are seriously considering pursuit of the IB diploma and/or further advanced placement course study should take this course. Doing well in this course requires a passion for United States history, strong reading comprehension, organization, and analytical writing skills along with the ability to self-advocate and attend tutorial when needed. Some Saturday and extra evening sessions are required. A summer assignment is to be completed before the return to school in August.

    Units of Study
    1000-1607 -Native American Civilizations and the Age of Exploration
    1607-1754 -The Establishment of European Colonies
    1754-1800 -The American Revolution and Critical Period
    1800-1848- Expansion in an Age of Reform
    1840-1877- Civil War and Reconstruction
    1860-1900- Industrialization and Imperialism in the Gilded Age
    1900-1945- The United States Becomes a World Power
    1945-1980 -The War on Poverty, Counterculture, Containment and The Cold War
    1980-Present -Conservative Resurgence and the War on Terror
  • AP United States Government and Politics - Grade 11-12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites: AP United States History (B- or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation
    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the AP exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.

    Units of Study
    Foundations of American Democracy
    Interactions Among Branches of Government
    Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
    American Political Ideologies and Beliefs
    Political Participation
  • IB History - Grade 11

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite:  AP United States History (B or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation
    Additional Fee:  IB examination fees will be incurred the second year of the course.

    This is year one of a two year IB Higher Level History sequence. As part of this course students will examine major trends in 20th Century European and World History. During the first year, the focus is on the causes and effects of World War I, the emergence of authoritarian states in Europe, domestic and international trends during the interwar years, the failure of collective security, the causes and impact of Italian, German, and Japanese expansion during the interwar years. Students will examine the role of broad trends as well as the role of individuals in history. In addition to analyzing historical documents, students will explore the historiography of the events we study. Students should expect to engage with assigned texts and think critically about historical events as part of active classroom participation. Students will also undertake a historical investigation as preparation for the Internal Assessment to be completed in year 2.

    Units of Study
    European Diplomacy 1871-1914
    World War I
    Creating a Post War Order: the Paris Peace Talks
    Germany: Creation of the Weimar Republic-The Golden Age of Stresemann
    Fascism in Italy: Mussolini Consolidates Power, Domestic Policies, Expansion
    From a Republic to Dictatorship: Germany and the Rise of Hitler
    International Response to Italian and German Expansion
    Japanese Expansion and International Response
     
  • IB History: Europe HL/US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB History
    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of a 2-year sequence. The content focus for year two is World War II, the Cold War, the end of the Cold War and the post Cold War world order. The aims of the course are to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of its sources, methods and interpretations, to encourage an understanding of the present through critical reflection upon the past as well as an understanding of the impact of historical developments at national, regional and international levels and to develop an awareness of one’s own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. All students enrolled in IB History HL will also engage in a historical investigation designed to develop students' research and writing skills.

    In addition, students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States during the course. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples.

    Units of Study
    Foundations of US Government
    Move to Global War
    World War II: Front Lines and Homefront
    The Holocaust
    The Cold War: An Emerging Post-War Order
    China and the Cold War
    Behind the Iron Curtain: Soviet Foreign Policy from Stalin to Brezhnev
    Cold War Conflicts and Case Studies
    The Walls Come Tumbling Down: The End of the Cold War
  • IB Global Politics - Grade 11

    1 Credit
    Prerequisites:  AP United States History (B or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation
    Additional Fee:  IB examination fees will be incurred the second year of the course.

    This is the first year of the two year IB Global Politics HL course. The course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies while preparing them for the IB Global Politics exam administered at the conclusion of their senior year. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. Students will learn through critical readings, class discussions, analytical writing, engagement activities, independent research and student presentations. It is crucial for students to have an interest in current issues, consider and be respectful of multiple viewpoints, and to work independently.

    Units of Study
    Power, Sovereignty and International Relations
    Engagement Activity and Paper
    Human Rights
    Development
    Peace and Conflict
  • IB Global Politics HL / US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Global Politics
    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam.  A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of the two year sequence of Global Politics HL.  The course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies while preparing them for the IB Global Politics exam administered at the conclusion of their senior year. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. Students will learn through critical readings, class discussions, analytical writing, engagement activities, independent research and student presentations. It is crucial for students to have an interest in current issues, consider and be respectful of multiple viewpoints, and to work independently.

    In addition, students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States during the course. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples.

    Units of Study
    United States Government
    Independent Research and Higher Level Case Study Presentations
    Power, Sovereignty and International Relations
    Human Rights
    Development
    Peace and Conflict

     
  • IB Geography- Grade 11

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: AP United States History (B- or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation
    Required tools:  Colored pencils
    Additional Fee:  IB examination fees will be incurred the second year of the course.

    This is the first year of the two year IB Geography HL course.  Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places. These may be defined on a variety of scales and from the perspectives of a different range of actors, with varying powers over decision-making processes.

    Within individuals and societies subjects, geography is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates physical, environmental and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio‑economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

    Units of Study
    Changing Population
    Global Climate - Vulnerability and Resistance
    Global Resource Consumption
    Freshwater - Drainage Basins
    Oceans and Coastal Margins
  • IB Geography HL/US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Geography
    Required tools:  Colored pencils
    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of the two year IB Geography HL course.  Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places. These may be defined on a variety of scales and from the perspectives of a different range of actors, with varying powers over decision-making processes.

    Within individuals and societies subjects, geography is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates physical, environmental and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio‑economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

    In addition, students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States during the course. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples.

    Units of Study
    United States Government
    Urban Environments
    Power, Places, and Networks
    Human Development and Diversity
    Global Risks and Resilience
    Mapping
  • IB Environmental Systems & Societies SL - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on expectations of B or higher in Chemistry Honors and Biology Honors or A in Chemistry and Biology or Chemistry 2, evidence of focus, reliability, work ethic, independent learning, and passion for the subject matter
    Required tools:  Graphing calculator. "Rite-in-the-Rain" Field Journal (purchased through the school)
    Additional Fees: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam.  A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
    This course may count as a Group 3 and/or a Group 4 IB course for diploma candidates.  It will also satisfy either a Trinity science credit or a social studies credit, but not both.

    The intent of this course is to help students develop a holistic perspective on the environment using a systems approach together with scientific, economic, historical, cultural and socio-political methodologies. The course seeks to help students develop the skills to assess, measure and analyze the environment from a local to a global perspective. Topics include foundations of environmental systems and societies, ecosystems and ecology, biodiversity and conservation, water and aquatic food production systems and societies, soil systems and terrestrial food production systems and societies, atmospheric systems and societies, climate change and energy production and human systems and resource use.

    In the laboratory component of this course students will explore experimental methods, develop experimental design skills and apply these methods and skills to the study of ecosystems and societies. Laboratory work will be augmented with fieldwork both on the Trinity property and other locations. Students are expected to independently apply laboratory skills and report writing learned in previous science classes. Advanced skills will be developed throughout the course and students will complete an individual investigation that is assessed by the teacher and submitted to IBO. It represents 25% of the exam score. The investigation focuses on using the scientific method for a lab experience that includes: planning and conducting an experiment; processing, analyzing and graphing data collected from the experiment; discussing and making conclusions using collected data; and evaluating the experimental process itself.

    This course is for any student interested in environmental sciences, sustainability, or the outdoors in general. However, the goal of this course is to explain environmentalism through a variety of lenses, from economic, to religious, to recreational, so all curious students are welcome. It is a class that does involve some outdoor work, so students should be prepared to work safely in any weather.

    Units of Study
    Foundations of ESS
    Ecosystems and ecology
    Biodiversity and conservation
    Water, aquatic food production systems, and societies
    Soil systems, terrestrial food production systems and societies
    Atmospheric systems and societies
    Climate change and energy production
    Human systems and resource use
  • IB Economics - Grade 11

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: AP United States History or United States History Honors and teacher recommendation
    Required tools:  TI-84 Plus Calculator or equivalent
    Additional Fee:  IB examination fees will be incurred the second year of the course

    This is the first part of a two year course designed to prepare students for the IB Economics HL exam. The course presents a college-level survey of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The microeconomics section is designed to give a thorough review of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individuals as decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets, theory of a firm and of the role of government in promoting greater equity in the economy. The macroeconomics section gives students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.

    The course reviews the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies and economic growth. Emphasis is placed on the different types of fiscal and monetary policy that governments may pursue with historiographical coverage of major economic schools of thought. In addition to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, IB Economics students will also delve extensively into international economics including international trade theory and growth, economic development, exchange rates, economic integration and balance of payments. Students will learn how the mixed economies of other countries that have more government involvement operate. Another goal is for students to understand the problems faced by developing countries and to develop an awareness of possible solutions. A variety of real world examples will be used to illustrate and explain these principles and a culminating project in the second year is a case study in how a specific developing country should pursue economic development.

    IB Economics also entails a significant quantitative component as students learn how to derive and graph supply and demand functions, compute consumer and producer surplus, evaluate the effects of taxes and subsidies, adjust economic data for inflation, evaluate the effects of macroeconomic policy by using a variety of multipliers, and study and use marginal cost theory. Students learn this material through lecture, class discussion, oral presentations, article analysis, group projects, essay portfolio development, graphing, and case studies. Document analysis and basic research skills are a must and higher order thinking skill use is mandatory as essay writing involving graphing, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and historical and economic argumentation skills are paramount. Students that want to understand why national economies and markets boom and bust, understand personal investment strategies for their future, understand the process of globalization, understand government’s role in the economy, and why individual firms succeed or fail, merge or do not merge, should take this course. To do well students must complete all work on time as skill sets and theory combine to form building blocks on which future understanding rests, be strong advocates and attend tutorial as needed for difficult concepts, possess strong reading comprehension skills, and have a strong math background through Algebra II/Trigonometry.

    Units of Study
    How to Think Like an Economist
    Basic Supply and Demand Theory
    Elasticity, Taxes, Subsidies and Market Failure
    Linear Demand and Supply Functions-Quantitative Analysis
    Aggregate Demand, Aggregate Supply, Inflation, and Unemployment
    Keynesian, Classical and Neo-Classical Fiscal and Monetary Policy
    Quantitative Macroeconomic Analysis: Fiscal and Monetary Multipliers
     
  • IB Economics HL - Grade 12

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite:Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Economics
    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.

    This is the second part of a two year course designed to prepare students for the IB Economics HL exam. The course presents a college-level survey of both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The microeconomics section is designed to give a thorough review of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individuals as decision-makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets, theory of a firm including cost, revenue and profit theory, and of the role of government in promoting greater equity in the economy. The macroeconomics section gives students an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole.

    The course reviews the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies and economic growth. Emphasis is placed on the different types of fiscal and monetary policy that governments may pursue which includes a quantitative understanding of multipliers and with historiographical coverage of major economic schools of thought. In addition to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, IB Economics students will also delve extensively into international economics including international trade theory and growth, economic development, exchange rates, economic integration, terms of trade, globalization history and balance of payments. Students will learn how the mixed economies of other countries that have more government involvement operate. Another goal is for students to understand the problems faced by developing countries and to develop an awareness of possible solutions. An end of year case study of a developing country and a plan for proper development is the culmination of the course. A variety of real world examples will be used to illustrate and explain these principles.

    IB Economics also entails a significant quantitative component as students learn how to derive and graph linear supply and demand functions, compute consumer and producer surplus, evaluate the effects of taxes and subsidies, adjust economic data for inflation, evaluate the effects of macroeconomic policy by using a variety of multipliers, and study and use marginal cost theory. Students learn this material through lecture, class discussion, oral presentations, article analysis, group projects, essay portfolio development, graphing, and case studies. Document analysis and basic research skills are a must and higher order thinking skill use is mandatory as essay writing involving graphing, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and historical and economic argumentation skills are paramount. Students that want to understand why national economies and markets boom and bust, understand personal investment strategies for their future, understand the process of globalization, understand government’s role in the economy, and why individual firms succeed or fail, merge or do not merge, should take this course. To do well students must complete all work on time as skill sets and theory combine to form building blocks on which future understanding rests, be strong advocates and attend tutorial as needed for difficult concepts, possess strong reading comprehension skills, and have a strong math background through Algebra II/Trigonometry. A summer assignment is completed before the return to school in August.

    Units of Study
    Review of Microeconomic Theory of IB Economics
    Theory of a Firm
    Quantitative Analysis-Theory of a Firm
    Review of Macroeconomic Theory of IB Economics
    International Trade, Protectionism, Exchange Rate Systems, Terms of Trade and Balance of Payments
    Quantitative Analysis of Protectionism, Exchange Rates, Terms of Trade and Balance of Payments
    Economic Development and History of Globalization

Religion

List of 4 items.

  • Old Testament - Grades 8-12

    .5 Credit
    Old Testament satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    “In the beginning when God created...” These words written thousands of years ago continue to impact humanity. This class is an introduction to the rich history, stories, and beliefs preserved by the Jewish people. Primary content is devoted to historical movements, biblical characters, and various forms of text criticism. Secondary content includes how Old Testament themes connect to the New Testament. Key skills include: critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    Biblical Prehistory
    Patriarchs and Matriarchs
    Theocracy
    Monarchy
    Prophets and Exiles
    Restoration
  • New Testament - Grades 8-12

    .5 Credit
    New Testament satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    This course begins with Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus asked the apostle Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" The students will thoroughly examine the Gospels and learn how each writer uniquely depicts the life of Jesus. Paul of Tarsus wrote to the Corinthians, "Three times was I beaten with rods and once received a stoning." This course will explore what motivated Paul to have an unprecedented desire to spread the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Primary content is devoted to historical movements, biblical characters, and various forms of text criticism. Secondary content includes how Old Testament themes connect with the New Testament. Key skills include: critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    The Gospel of Matthew
    The Gospel of Mark
    The Gospel of Luke
    The Gospel of John
    Acts of the Apostles
    Epistles and Apocalypse
  • World Religion - Grades 9-12

    .5 Credit
    World Religions satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    This course is designed as a comparative study of the world religions and begins by attempting to answer "Why Religion?" Students will examine numerous civilizations and how they are influenced by religion. Ample time will be spent on history, beliefs, and how the religions of the world impact humanity today. Key skills include: critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    Origin of Religions
    Hinduism
    Buddhism
    Islam
    Judaism
    Christianity
  • Independent Study in Religion - Grade 12

     
    .5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher permission

    Independent Study in Religion is available to seniors, who have already fulfilled Trinity's religion requirement and now desire a deeper exploration into religious studies. This journey allows students to revisit topics addressed in Old Testament, New Testament, or World Religions. The study also welcomes seniors, who are considering ministry opportunities in college or a potential career in such fields as missions, pastoral ministry, or Christian education.  This study may only be selected once as a semester elective.

    Units of Study
    Defining a Topic
    Delving Deeper Through Research and Inquiry
    Presentation

Course Sequence

Social Studies Core Courses

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
World Geography Western Civilization Honors AP United States History IB History IB History:
Europe HL/United States Government
European History Honors
United States History Honors IB Global Politics IB Global Politics HL/United States Government
AP United States Government and Politics Global Politics Honors
IB Geography IB Geography HL/United States Government
Geography Honors
IB Environmental Systems and Societies SL
IB Economics IB Economics HL
Economics Honors
World History: Community & Conflict United States History Contemporary World History Honors United States Government and Economics
Contemporary World History