Tappan Zee High School

Social Studies

The Social Studies program at Tappan Zee High School is designed to provide for the maximization of each student’s potential. The program is divided into broad course areas, each of which will follow the general New York State guidelines for the high school social studies sequence. This sequence will consist of World History and Geography 9 & 10, U.S. History & Government, and 12th grade semesters of Economics and Participation in Government. Within these broad course areas, the program will be as follows:

Regents Program: Designed to prepare students in the acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the requirements of the New York State Regents College Preparatory Program. All students are expected to complete a term paper to demonstrate their writing skills. Students must pass Regents exams in World History and Geography (Grade 10) and U.S. History/Government (Grade 11) in order to graduate.

***Some of the Advanced Placement Courses in the Social Studies Department require the completion of a Summer Project. Please either see the teacher(s) of the course, or check the Summer Project Section of the District Website.

World History  9 R 
Full Year, 1 credit
World History 9R is the first of a two-year required historical survey course. Students will advance their knowledge about the past through a combination of selective factual information and appropriate analytical skills. The course of study includes the First Civilizations, the Classical Era, the Post-Classical Period, and the Early Modern World (beginning to 1750). These topics, along with skills such as historical interpretation, historical argumentation, contextualization, comparison, causation, and continuity-and-change, will coalesce into an overarching study of “enduring issues” that tells the story of the human experience. This course serves as a foundation for 10th grade World History and Geography which culminates in a New York State Regents Exam.

World History 9 Pre-AP
Full Year, 1 credit
While not a prerequisite course for 10th grade AP World History, the World History 9 Pre-AP course is designed specifically to help students build skill and content knowledge required for entrance into AP History coursework. The course of study includes the Ancient World, the Post-Classical Period, and the Early Modern World (beginnings to 1750) with emphasis on the connections among historical developments in different times and places. Students will develop the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians. This includes, but is not limited to document analysis; developing historical arguments; making historical comparisons; and utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time. Therefore, to be successful in World History 9 Pre-AP, students must come to the course already demonstrating proficiency as a self-directed, conscientious learner with the ability to acquire content knowledge independently via teacher selected resources. Additionally, students should exhibit strong reading skills and an intellectual readiness for analysis that goes beyond factual acquisition of content. Successful competition of this course fulfills the 9th grade NYS requirements in Social Studies and serves as a foundation for the 10th grade curriculum.

Grade 10 – World History and Geography (10)
Full Year, 1 credit
This course is the second year of the two-year sequence begun in grade 9. It concludes with a Regents exam in World History and Geography. This course includes an overview of the following topics: Enlightenment and Revolution (1750-1914),  Industrialism and a New Global Age (1750-1914), World Wars and Revolutions (1914-Present) and The World Today (1914-Present). Themes such as Turning Points, Economic Systems, Political Systems and Nationalism will be explored in the curriculum.

Grade 10 – World History and Geography Honors (10H)
Full Year, 1 credit
This course is the second year of the two-year sequence begun in grade 9. It concludes with a Regents exam in World History and Geography. This course includes an overview of the following topics: Enlightenment and Revolution (1750-1914), Industrialism and a New Global Age (1750-1914), World Wars and Revolutions (1914-Present) and The World Today (1914-Present). Themes such as Turning Points, Economic Systems, Political Systems and Nationalism will be explored in the curriculum. The 10H course emphasizes examination and analysis of primary source documents, independent research, and a more in-depth look at the historical periods of study through writing across the curriculum.

Advanced Placement World History
Full Year, 1 credit
The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. The course emphasizes relevant factual knowledge deployed in conjunction with leading interpretive issues and types of historical evidence. Focused primarily on the past thousand years of the global experience, the course builds an understanding of cultural, institutional, and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage prior to 1000 C.E. Periodization, explicitly discussed, forms the organizing principle for dealing with change and continuity from that point to the present. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with the consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of study. Students are expected to take the AP World History examination in May for possible college credit.

Grade 11 – United States History and Government Regents
Full Year, 1 credit
The United States History and Government course is a survey of the American experience with emphasis on the Constitution, Industrial Revolution, and the 20th Century. This course culminates in the New York State Regents Exam in June. Class sessions will consist of lecture, discussion, supervised individual research, and cooperative learning activities done in groups. Current events are a major focus of both the research work and the Regents exam. Consequently, you are strongly encouraged to increase your attention to television news and newspapers.

Grade 11 – United States History and Government Honors
Full Year, 1 credit
The United States History and Government Honors course is a survey of the American experience with emphasis on the Constitution, Industrial Revolution, and the 20th Century. This course culminates in the New York State Regents Exam in June. Class sessions will consist of lecture, discussion, supervised individual research, and cooperative learning activities done in groups. Current events are a major focus of both the research work and the Regents exam. Consequently, you are strongly encouraged to increase your attention to television news and newspapers. The 11H course emphasizes examination and analysis of primary source documents, independent research, and a more in-depth look at the historical periods of study through writing across the curriculum.

Advanced Placement U.S. History (11,12)
Full Year, 1 credit
This course, which emphasizes the analytical skill of the social scientist, examines major interpretations of American History. For example, the students seek to determine whether the New Deal was evolutionary or revolutionary. The course prepares the pupil for the College Entrance Examination Board final; a satisfactory grade on this test could enable the student to earn credit, from 3 to 6 points, at one of the more than 1,000 participating universities in our nation. Students must be willing to complete extensive college-level reading.

Advanced Placement Psychology (12)
Full Year, 1 credit
This course introduces students to the systemic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major sub fields within psychology, and they also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. The aim of this course is to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses. Topics covered include the following: biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception; states of consciousness; learning; cognition, motivation and emotion; developmental psychology; personality; testing and individual differences; abnormal psychology; treatment of psychological disorders; and social psychology. Each student is expected to take the AP Psychology exam in May. Class participation = 20% of the student’s grade.

Economics (Required – 12th Grade)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
This is an introductory course in economic theory. Basic economic problems such as scarcity, choice, supply and demand, and utility are initially presented in order to relate theory to American capitalism. In particular, the dynamics of the market, personal finance, the factors of production (land, labor, and capital), and banking are explored in detail. The student will then employ this basic knowledge to study specific American economic problems such as: inflation, unemployment, energy, pollution and conservation, taxation and the national debt.

Advanced Placement Economics
Full Year, 1 Credit
Includes enrollment in Issues in American Society
The purpose of an AP course in Economics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger 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 efficiency and equity in the economy. The part II questions on the exams require students to apply mathematical concepts to economic theory and so a strong background in math is needed in order for students to successfully complete this class. Students are expected to take the AP Microeconomics exam in May for possible college credit.

The Participation in Government requirement can be met by any of the following courses: Issues in American Society, Law and Literature or Participation in Government III – Senior Seminar.

Participation in Government III (12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
Senior Seminar
This course is an alternative method of satisfying the graduation requirements of the Regents Action Plan and is offered in conjunction with English 12R (Senior Seminar). Working with a member of the community or their teacher, students will develop projects to explore a career opportunity and/or personal interest. In addition, students will be required to give presentations, keep a journal and produce a research paper reflecting their program experiences.

Citizen Leadership: Character in Action (11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
The purpose of this course is to promote character driven respectful and responsible student leaders in school and the community.  It will identify and explore attitudes and personal qualities that build a foundation for success in life and work.  The character traits are embedded throughout the curriculum and focus daily on the development of active citizenship and student leadership skills.

The focus of the course will be three fold:  creating an understanding of fundamental positive character traits; raising awareness of inequality and injustice in the world; and applying the role of civic participation to bring awareness to action.  Ultimately, this will culminate with students completing service projects.

The course aligns with the SOCSD goals of delivering overt, systemic instruction related to character education and New York state grade 12 standards for Participation in Government and Civics particularly in the areas of basic civic values of American constitutional democracy and the roles, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, including avenues of participation.  Successful completion of the course will result in fulfillment of the New York state Participation in Government requirement.

Criminal Justice (10, 11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
Criminal Justice is a social studies elective for grades 10, 11, and 12. This course is designed to enable students to develop concepts and attitudes which will give them a better understanding of our criminal justice system. This course integrates many social studies disciplines such as history, political science, sociology, psychology, and economics. It is also designed to give students an awareness of career possibilities in the criminal justice field. Police officers, attorneys, and other practitioners in the field bring their expertise to the classroom. In addition, field trips, case studies, audio-visual material, simulations, debates and reports are employed in the course. Concepts and theories are taught, but classroom meetings emphasize the
practical, applicable and day-to-day experiences of persons in the criminal justice field. Current
criminal justice news stories and issues are also emphasized in the course. Class participation = 25% of the student’s grade. This course can be taken for college credit through St. Thomas Aquinas College.

Law and Literature (10, 11, 12)
Full year, 1 credit
This course is designed to help the student understand the government process as it relates primarily to the legal system.  Students in the course will explore legal issues through a variety of methods. For example: plays, novels, short stories, mock trials, Supreme Court cases and controversial issues will all be examined. The course will last one year.  A Social Studies and an English teacher will teach this course jointly. Students who successfully complete the course will receive 1/2 credit for English and 1/2 credit for Social Studies. Students must register for this course under both Social Studies and English. Successful completion of the course will result in fulfillment of the New York State Participation in Government requirement.

Issues in American Society (12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
This course will investigate major political, social and economic issues. Students will be expected to research current topics of concern to American society using a variety of sources, including newspapers, magazines, journals, television, and the Internet, and present their findings in written and oral form, both individually and as part of a panel discussion. A major part of the grade for this course will depend on daily preparation and participation in class activities and discussions. The topics to be considered each semester will be selected jointly by the students and the instructor. Successful completion of the course will result in fulfillment of the New York State Participation in Government requirement.

Senior Colloquium: Mastering the College-level Research Paper (11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
This course provides basic training in research and presentational skills, as well as familiarizing students with the problems encountered in using and interpreting source material of various kinds. Students will be introduced to the range of bibliographical, archival and other research resources available. They will also receive training in methods of gathering, processing and presenting historical data, to aid them in writing and presentations research papers. Students will learn that writing history is about making decisions. As historians they will choose from a broad range of subjects, selecting those they think are most important. They will choose source materials carefully, assessing evidence that may support or contradict their arguments. And they will choose ways to write, balancing respect for their subjects with the needs of their audience. This course is open to juniors and seniors only.

Interpretations of American/Global History through Film  (11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
This class will broaden student’s ability to think critically about popular movies – or to do what scholars call “reading” films. This class will be an exercise in media literacy. This class is not designed to teach just Global Studies or American history using film. Instead, our goal is to get students to think critically and analytically about history and about films through an analysis of Hollywood movies. While we will not focus directly on the history of Hollywood, we will examine the Hollywood production process and its history as a way to inform ourselves about the movies we examine. Student evaluations will include tests, quizzes, reading and writing assignments.

Introduction to Psychology (11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
Students will draw upon their knowledge of history and the social sciences to analyze, synthesize and apply the principles of psychology. Students will have the opportunity to pursue independent research interests and learn to use the methods that psychologists employ to test and evaluate their hypotheses. This course will focus on the importance of authentic assessment while still addressing the challenging academic nature inherent in the field of psychology.

Advanced Placement European History (11,12)
Full Year, 1 credit
This course will provide juniors and seniors with an opportunity to examine European History in greater depth, while working on skills that are critical for success at the college level. By examining European history in greater detail, while specifically focusing on 1450 to the present, students will gain a greater contextual background contributing to their understanding of contemporary issues. The importance of European History during the modern era cannot be discounted when understanding key ideas, whether specific to the history of the Western World, or the European influence on the developing nations of our world today. Additionally, the AP format will continue to encourage students to sharpen their writing skills as they prepare for college

The following semester courses are also available through Virtual High School (VHS):
American Foreign Policy
American Multiculturalism
AP Government and Politics: United States
Arts and Ideas: The Best of Western Culture
Community Service – Learning
Constitutional Law
Eastern & Western Thought
Gods of CNN: The Power of Modern Media
Great Inventions and Scientific Discoveries
Lewis and Clark’s Expedition
Maritime History: Riders on the Storm
Peacemaking
Personal Finance (Prerequisite-Algebra 2)
Pearl Harbor to the Atomic Bomb
Philosophy I
Practical Law
Sociology
Sports and American Society
The Glory of Ancient Rome
The Golden Age of Classical Greece
The Holocaust
The Vietnam War
Who Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?
World Conflict, A United Nations Introduction
World Religions

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