Historical forces shape students’ lives for the better or worse. They live in complex national and global societies full of opportunity and peril. Students are generally interested in people, particularly when those people believe their lives and values are in jeopardy, confront daunting obstacles and dangers, and engage in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. These situations characterize much of the subject matter of social studies courses.
The basic rationale for social studies education in the nation’s schools is essentially to promote good citizenship. Social Sciences illustrate that social forces beyond the immediate environments of their lives, shape students’ lives. Much of that larger social world is public and is comprised of arenas for citizenship activity. There are some cognitive prerequisites for committed citizenship. Those prerequisites include the insights that
(1) the details of our lives, the realizations of our hopes and fears are shaped by patterns of social life beyond our immediate perception;
(2) history and the social sciences provide an intellectual context for thinking productively about the achievement of our aspirations; and
(3) our choices as citizens to act or not to act in particular times and places influence the conditions and the quality of our lives and of the larger society in which we live.
AP World History
AP U.S. History
AP Government and Politics
U.S. History After 1945
Racial & Ethnic America
For descriptions please see the Course Catalog.