Mount St. Mary Academy
Social Studies Department

CIVICS
CREDITS: 1/2
OPEN TO:  GRADE 9

 

Civics is a one-semester course designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of American government and the major divisions within our government.  Students learn why government and politics are necessary, the essential characteristics of limited and unlimited government, the nature and purpose of the U.S. Constitution, the values and principles basic to American constitutional democracy, how power and responsibility are distributed, shared, and limited in the United States, and how the U.S. government is organized and what it does.  Students learn how citizenship is applied in everyday situations and how to get involved in the democratic process.  They observe the development of important constitutional issues from a young person’s perspective.  

 

GLOBAL REGIONS
CREDITS: 1/2
OPEN TO:  GRADE 9

 

Global Regions is a one-semester course designed to introduce students to geography using five themes:  location, place, interaction, movement and region.  These themes provide an organized focus for geographic study and are tools that students use to analyze a place, to answer the where, why and how questions that constitute geography.  Students are guided through seven regional units.  In each regional unit, students learn about the region’s geography, history and traditions, economics and daily life, arts and literature, as well as the role of the region in the world today.

 

AMERICAN HISTORY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 10

 

American History is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base of American history from revolutionary to modern times.  Students engage in thematic analysis to provide them with appropriate context for understanding factual content.  Using critical thinking skills, students identify central issues, make comparisons, determine relevance, recognize cause and effect, formulate questions, and draw conclusions.

 

AP UNITED STATES HISTORY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 10

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITE:  Approval from 9th grade Social Studies teacher

 

This is a full year survey of United States History from the age of exploration and discovery to the present. Solid reading and writing skills and the desire to devote considerable time to homework and study are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography. The AP Exam is required in the spring.

*For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.

 

WORLD HISTORY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADES 11

 

World History is designed to introduce the students to the events of history from prehistoric times to the present while incorporating current events in order to make the past relevant to the present.  Assignments are given which allow students to demonstrate their ability to understand and use maps, to explain how geography and history are linked, to conduct research based on the historical method, and to analyze and interpret charts, tables and primary documents.  The focus of the course is to give an understanding of how events in all cultures are influenced by physical and human geographical factors and how ideas, events, and conditions bring about change which can contribute to conflict or cooperation.  Each unit specifically centers on understanding political, social/cultural and economic themes.

 

AP EUROPEAN HISTORY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 11

 

AP European History is offered to students who are interested in a first year university level course in European History. This course focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about European history from approximately 1450 to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance- Interaction of Europe and they World, Poverty, and Prosperity, Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions, States and Other Institutions of Power, and Individual and Society- provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. These require students to reason historically and continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places. Therefore, students are expected to demonstrate strong writing, analytical skills, and independent work habits. The Advanced Placement European History course purpose is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of most college history courses. This course is designed to prepare students to successfully complete the AP European History exam in order to receive college credit.

*For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.  

 

STREET LAW
CREDITS: 1/2
OPEN TO:  GRADES 11 – 12

 

Street Law is a one-semester course designed to give students a practical understanding of law and the legal system.  The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities, a knowledge of everyday legal problems, and the ability to analyze, evaluate, and resolve legal disputes.  The course addresses general problems in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice; torts, housing law and consumer law.

 

SOCIOLOGY
CREDITS: 1/2
OPEN TO:  GRADES 11 – 12

 

Sociology is designed to introduce students to the general scope of this discipline and to foster a greater appreciation of this field.  Students will study such topics as culture, interaction, control, inequality, institutions and social change.  This course will also introduce students to diverse methods used in research and the ethical practices and responsibilities required.  Finally, the purpose of this course is directed toward preparing students for further study in college and exposing them to possible career options.

 

PSYCHOLOGY
CREDITS: 1/2
OPEN TO:  GRADES 11 – 12

 

Psychology is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of psychology, the major theoretical approaches (psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, biological and social psychology) used to study behavior.  The various methods of inquiry with the ethical standards inherent to psychological investigation are also studied.  The major topics of study include biological processes, sensations/perceptions and altered states of consciousness, learning, memory and intelligence, motivation, emotion, stress and conflict, development, personality theories, and abnormal behavior.  Relevant and practical applications to everyday life and the social issues society faces are addressed as well as possible careers in the field of psychology.

 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO:  GRADE 12

PREREQUISITE:  AMERICAN HISTORY, WORLD HISTORY

 

International Relations is designed to study international relations through international politics and diplomacy.  The study of modern world governments and ideologies, and perspectives of the major cultural and political groups are covered.  Students examine current world history through regular attention to newscasts and newspapers.  The course is designed to inform students of current world affairs but especially to see and understand the perspectives of other people and cultures.

 

AP PSYCHOLOGY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 11-12

 

Advanced Placement Psychology is designed as a rigorous curriculum that provides an overview of current psychological theory and practice.  This course follows the APA guidelines for Advanced Placement Psychology.   It is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of humans and other animals.  In accordance with the driving principles of current psychological practice, this course will emphasize scientific methods of research and procedure, ethical standards in research, and critical thinking skills.  AP Psychology’s aim is to introduce students to the six major theoretical approaches: Psychodynamic, Behavioral, Cognitive, Humanistic, Biological and Sociocultural.  The main topics of study include the history of psychology, research methods, biological processes, sensations / perceptions and states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation, emotion, developmental psychology, personality, abnormal behavior and treatment and Social Psychology.   Students are expected to demonstrate strong writing and analytical skills and independent work habits.  Relevant and practical applications to everyday life and the social issues we face are addressed as well as possible careers in the field of psychology.  It is opened to juniors and seniors.  There is no prerequisite and no major projects required.  The Advanced Placement Psychology course purpose is to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of most college introductory psychology courses.  

*For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.

 

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
CREDITS: 1
OPEN TO: GRADES 9-12

 

AP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and organization of the earth. Students will employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human organization of space. This AP Human Geography class teaches spatial relationships at different scales ranging from local to global.  Students will examine human geography through the lenses of population and health, migration, folk and popular culture, languages, religions, ethnicities, political geography, development, food and agriculture, industry, services, and urban patterns.

*For weighted credit to be awarded, students must take the AP Exam in the spring and complete the course for the entire year.

*This course requires payment of an exam fee.