What is happening in the world today? How did we get here? Where is it going? These are just a few questions in the study of current events. Knowing the daily stories in the news does not encompass the entirety of the discipline, but rather the beginnings and possible direction of a given situation in the world. Current Events can range from international issues all the way down to the community. Why does terrorism seem so prevalent? Why do countries around the world meet about climate change? What about our local community? What kind of events are happening that citizens may not know about? How about our school? The point of this course is to gain an understanding of international issues, while highlighting our local community to widen our scope of knowledge. More importantly, students will develop a broader understanding of the world and be able to conceptualize future challenges. This course will have a bit of journalism involved weekly throughout the year. You will have the chance to produce a portion of a weekly program about the surrounding community and school. This is your opportunity to implement current events, technology, and some journalism to show other citizens things that interest you.
Big World History:
Welcome to the Big History Project! Where did we come from? What causes change? Where are we heading? Big History takes on these questions that originate with the dawn of time and gives students a framework to tell the story of humanity’s place in the Universe. It’s more than a history course. Big History helps students see the overall picture and make sense of the pieces: it looks at the past from the Big Bang to modernity, seeking out common themes and patterns that can help us better understand people, civilizations, and the world we live in. Big History arose from a desire to transcend traditional self-contained fields of study and grasp history as a whole, looking for linked ideas and connections across history’s entire spectrum. By teaching students to explore these connections, and to effectively question, analyze and postulate, it provides a foundation for thinking not only about the past, but also the future and the changes that are reshaping our world. The Big History Project represents a strong collaboration between teachers, university faculty and technical professionals. Built from the ground up to support the Common Core and best practices from classrooms around the world, the course includes a rich and comprehensive set of videos, readings, infographics, and classroom activities for students and teachers. Throughout, students encounter challenging ideas and questions and learn to connect ideas across 13.8 billion years of time and an array of disciplines. The course asks students to thoughtfully and rigorously engage with the claims they encounter along the way.
Geography helps us understand the world that we live in through myriad of ways. The study of geography encompasses five themes that students will cover throughout the class: location, place, region, movement, and human-environment interaction. Culture invariably plays a large role in different regions of the world, which students will analyze through a personalized spatial-analysis. The physical layout of each region plays a reciprocal role with the people who live there, which is then expressed through their culture. Students will exercise their critical thinking skills to address the relationship between the physical and cultural aspects of Geography. What is culture? How is it influenced through physical features in each region in the world? More importantly, students will gain a greater understanding of the region they live in compared to other areas around the world.
In Plato’s Apology, Socrates is on trial for, among other things, corrupting the youth of Athens. During the trial, he addresses the men of Athens stating: “if I say that it is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living for men, you will believe me even less.” For Socrates, lives purpose was to examine what we claimed to know. What is justice? What is courage? In a similar sense, this class will mirror that purpose. Students will tackle big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, and justice. Students will learn how philosophers work, not by each philosopher’s written voice, but rather their perspectives through big questions. More importantly, students will think critically and analyze how philosophers of the past tackled the issues that hold the same importance today.
American Government (dual-credit):
Students will study the structure and function of federal, state, and local governments, how these political bodies came into existence, and how they channel social conflict into consensus. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: • Identify and describe American political values, culture, institutions, and processes; • Analyze, compare, and critique what is distinctive and significant about the American political experience and legacy; • Demonstrate the ability to participate meaningfully and effectively in the American political system; • Gain an understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights; • Match the powers of the three branches of government, with the appropriate branch; • Discuss the impact of civil rights on the modern American government.
Introduction to Sociology (dual-credit):
Sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois states that “herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, —all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, —who is good? not that men are ignorant, —what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.” Sociology is the scientific study of social structure, people are social beings. The discipline of sociology helps us gain a new perspective about the things that influence and shape our behavior in society. Do the groups we belong to shape our lives? Do groups we belong to shape our perceptions? Do those we are not a part of influence us? These are just a few questions that will be considered throughout this course. Students will be introduced to different sociological methods, culture, groups and formal organizations, inequality et. al. Students will learn different sociological concepts, processes, and theories as well as skills using basic sociological terminology. More importantly, student will gain a greater understanding of social structure and the challenges with people being social beings.
Introduction to Psychology (dual-credit):
Why do we do the things we do? What underlies who we are and how we act? How do researchers investigate the answers to these questions? Psychology is a scientific discipline and profession focused on addressing these issues. This course presents a general survey of the field of psychology, emphasizing natural and social science principles. Students will discover various influences on integrated behavior, including culture, environment, social setting, heredity, and physiology. Students will also be introduced to psychological disorders, including prevention and therapeutic strategies. This introduction to psychology will also include topics such as personality, human development across the lifespan, motivation, emotion, interpersonal behavior, sensation, perception, and basic processes in learning, problem solving and thinking. Students will learn psychological concepts, processes and theories as well as skills in using basic psychological terminology. More importantly, students will develop a better understanding of the self and others, and be able to apply their new knowledge to real life issues.