Social Science » Social Science Course Descriptions

Social Science Course Descriptions

Social Science Department Chairperson: Dr. Michael Williams

 

Speech
Prerequisite: None – Required of all freshmen not enrolled in Honors Introduction to Debate.

(9) This course is a semester course, paired with the semester Health course. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of public speaking in the classroom, interpersonal occasions, professional settings and social advocacy. Class instruction will focus on preparing the student for high school and college academic presentations. This will include: the role of communication in daily life, communication models, speech structures and delivery styles. After the completion of this course, the student should be able to research, organize, write and deliver several different types of speeches. Finally, this introductory high school course is designed to give students the opportunities to gain poise, develop personal interests, and share responsibilities for group projects.
 
Honors Speech: Introduction to Policy Debate
Prerequisite: A composite score of 60 or above on the HSPT or eligibility for Honors English I or permission of the Debate coach.

(9) This class is an Honors level course which will provide students with numerous opportunities to practice basic research skills, engage in critical reading exercises, interpret data and maps, frame questions about the material under review, debate the merits of various viewpoints, and communicate one’s thoughts in the form of affirming or negating a proposed policy resolution. Additionally, the course will address a variety of study skills. This course is required for any student who wishes to participate in the Damien Debate program.
 
World History
Prerequisite: None – Required of all sophomores not enrolled in Advanced Placement European History.
(10) A survey of World History from 1300 to the present. Students will compare and contrast the major cultural, economic, political, and social developments within and between various regions of the world. Particular attention will be paid to the transformative nature of European Imperialism on both the West and other world cultures.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
Advanced Placement European History
Prerequisite: “A” or “B” in Honors Speech or an “A” in Speech or a score of 520 or higher on the EBRW section of the PSAT 9 exam

(10) A study of Western Civilization from 1450 to the present. Through lectures, discussions and readings, the student will develop critical analytical skills necessary for college level work. Success in the course depends on student interest and ability to keep pace with the required reading.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
United States History
Prerequisite: None – Required of all juniors not enrolled in Advanced Placement United States History or IB History of the Americas (HL Year-1)

(11) A survey of American history from the Colonial Era to the present, with added emphasis, during the second semester, placed on the events of the twentieth century.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
Advanced Placement United States History
Prerequisite: “C” or better in AP European History or an “A” in World History or a score of 520 or higher on the EBRW section of the PSAT 10 exam

(11) A year long course of in-depth study into economic, cultural, political a social influences which have shaped the United States. The course is designed to provide students with the appropriate interest and ability, the opportunity to undertake an intense and critical investigation of American institutions from the Colonial Era to the present.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA Approved)

United States Government & Economics
Prerequisite: None – Required of all seniors not enrolled in AP Government/AP Economics or enrolled in the IB Diploma Program.

(12) The 1st semester of this year-long course is a survey of the political institutions and processes of American Government. The 2nd semester of this year-long course is a survey of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international economics. Both courses will introduce students debates over public policy in the economic and political realms.
(Government meets the CSU/UC “a” requirement while Economics satisfies the CSU/UC “g” requirement; NCAA Approved)
Advanced Placement United States Government & Politics / AP Macroeconomics
Prerequisite: A cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher or a score of 540 or higher on both the EBRW and Math sections of the PSAT exam

(12) This is a year-long course that utilizes tandem scheduling to cover the American system of governance in addition to providing an introductory survey of the basic concepts of macro-economics. Both topics are designed to be equivalent to most college level introductory course in scope, methodology and rigor.

(Government meets the CSU/UC “a” requirement while Economics satisfies the CSU/UC “g” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
IB History HL 1 – History of the Americas
Prerequisite: “C” or better in AP European History or a “B” or better in World History or approval of the IB Coordinator (preference will be given to IB Diploma candidates)

(11) The IB Diploma Programme higher level history course aims to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of sources, methods and interpretations. Students are encouraged to comprehend the present by reflecting critically on the past. They are further expected to understand historical developments at national, regional and international levels and learn about their own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. The focus is on History of the Americas with discussions of the Civil War through Reconstruction 1865-1877, Emergence of the Americas in global affairs 1880 - 1910 and Cold War and the Americas 1945-1980 and an emphasis on the US Civil War: Causes, Courses and Effects. ***Required for Full Diploma Candidates

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement)
 
IB History HL 2– 20th Century World History
Prerequisite - “C” or better in IB History of the Americas (IB History HL1).

(12) The IB Diploma Program standard level history course focuses on 20th century world history with the in-depth study of three historical case-studies. Through the analysis of these 20th century topics, this course aims to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of sources, methods and interpretations. Students are encouraged to comprehend the present by reflecting critically on the past. They are further expected to understand historical developments at national, regional and international levels and learn about their own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. The emphasis is on conflict and intervention, Causes and effects of 20th century wars and The Cold War. Required of Full Diploma candidates and students completing the HL history curriculum.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement)
 
Social Science Electives

Advanced Debate
Prerequisites: “A” in Honors Speech or Speech and Permission of Debate Coach.

(10-12) A course in developing forensic skills is provided at each grade level. Debate and individual events will be studied. It is assumed that all students will be participating in interscholastic forensic activities as part of their course involvement. A considerable commitment of time to after school is required.

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)
 
Advanced Placement Psychology
Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher for 10th graders, 3.2 or higher for 11th & 12th graders.

(10-12) A systematic introduction to the study of the behavioral and mental processes of both human beings and of other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological principles and phenomenon associated with the major subfields within the discipline. Students will study the methods used in professional research and practice.

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement; NCAA Approved)

AP Comparative Government & Politics / AP Human Geography
Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher

(11 - 12) Do you ever wonder what “global awareness” means? This year-long course is for those students interested in understanding how other peoples of the world live and govern themselves. At the conclusion of the course, students will have the opportunity to earn AP credit in two AP courses. Lastly, throughout the course there will be periodic comparisons with the United States.
The AP Human Geography portion of the course is structured to address human geography’s seven core topics: thinking geographically, population and migration patterns and processes, cultural patterns and processes, political patterns and processes, agriculture and rural land-use patterns and processes, cities and urban land-use patterns and processes, and industrial and economic development patterns.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA approved)
 
The AP Comparative Government and Politics portion of the course explores the differences and similarities between various types of political systems from an array of perspectives. We will explore: the types of executives, legislatures, and judiciary systems found in a variety of authoritarian and democratic regimes; the impact the citizen, either individually or as part of a collective group (electoral systems, interest groups, mobs, political parties, etc…) plays in authoritarian and democratic regimes; and, the impact of formal and informal structures of political power and political culture on public policy, especially economic policy. Particular attention will be paid to the systems of governance found in China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.

(Meets CSU/UC “a” requirement; NCAA approved)
 
Advanced Placement Economics: Microeconomics
Prerequisite: A cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher and a score of 540 or higher on the Math section of the PSAT

(11-12) A year-long survey of the core concepts of microeconomics. This course will integrate a number of case studies from the business world to illustrate how microeconomic concepts can be found in the business world on a daily basis at level of an individual firm or at the level of an industry. This course is designed to be the equivalent of a college-level Microeconomics course in scope, methodology, and rigor.

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement; NCAA Approved)
 
Model United Nations (MUN)
Prerequisite: A cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher

(11-12) A course offering for students who have an interest in international politics and policy. The class will examine critical international issues related to economic, political and social conflicts that are impacted by the United Nations. Throughout the year, students shall learn global issues, international relations and parliamentary procedure during United Nations simulations. Students shall role play as United Nation members that create policies to resolve these issues. During the simulations, students shall engage in argumentation, conflict resolution, decision making, debate, group communication, media literacy, negotiation, and research. Students shall demonstrate these skills through: critical thinking activities, essays, discussions, and Model United Nations simulations. Students shall prepare for, but not be required to attend, Model United Nations conferences throughout the school year.

(CSU/UC approval pending, NCAA approval pending)
 
IB Business Management SL
Prerequisite: “B” or higher history course and a “B” or higher in Alg 2

(11-12) The IB Business Management course develops a student’s knowledge and understanding of business management theories, as well as their ability to apply a range of tools and techniques to business decisions. The course covers a range of organizations from all sectors, as well as the sociocultural and economic contexts in which those organizations operate. The course covers the key characteristics of business organization and environment, and the business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. The course allows students to develop a holistic understanding of today’s complex and dynamic business environment, including the sociocultural and economic contexts. Additionally, this course covers a range of business organization from all sectors of the economy. Conceptual learning in this course centers on business management theories, tools and techniques; and, the course applies theories, tools, and techniques to real world examples and case studies. Lastly, students will be exposed ethical concerns when it comes to the practice of business management.

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)
 
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) ***Required for all full-diploma candidates
Prerequisite: Full-diploma candidates or approval of the IB Coordinator. This class will be taken outside of the traditional school day and will meet 2-3 times per week during 11th & 12th grades.

The interdisciplinary theory of knowledge course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy. The extent and impact of the changes vary greatly in different parts of the world, but everywhere their implications for knowledge are profound. Theory of knowledge encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of what they encounter. Its core content focuses on questions such as the following: What counts as knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge? Theory of knowledge activities and discussions aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen to and learn from what others think. In this process students’ thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Program subjects, in creativity, action, service experience or in extended essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified.
(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)

Personal and Professional Skills IB CP1 (PPS) ** Required for all IB CP studentsPrerequisite: IB CP candidate- this class will be taken outside of the traditional school day and will meet 2-3 times a week during the junior and senior years.

(11-12) Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) is an International Baccalaureate (IB) course that emphasizes skills for the workplace. It is a core element which all IB Career Programme (CP) students undertake . PPS, the Career-Related Study course, and the Diploma Programme subjects are intended to support each other in the sense that they reference each other and share common goals. The PPS course examines five central themes: personal development, intercultural understanding, effective communication, thinking processes, and applied ethics. In addition to exploring the five PPS themes outlined by the IB, the PPS course will support students with the additional CP core elements of service learning, language development, and the culminating reflective project.

(Meets CSU/UC “g” requirement)