The Social Studies Department of St. Francis High School believes that an understanding of the human condition in the past and throughout the world today is the best preparation for concerned, responsible, and active citizenship in a society of rapid change and high technology. Through the examination of other cultures, historical time periods, the changing role of government, and economic development, students understand the importance of past events in relationship to future decisions.
We believe that strong Christian values will help our students evaluate issues on the local, national and international levels. We urge students to foster a critical sense of what is permanent and meaningful, and reject superficial and transient values, through participating in the political process, government forums and volunteer service within their community. We promote sympathy, justice, and peace in all human relations so that our students will act from a basis of love and conviction to make our world a better place to live.
This Art History course is designed to provide students with an an understanding and enjoyment of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other art forms within historical and cultural contexts. In the course, students examine major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present from a variety of cultures. Students will learn to look at works of art critically, with intelligence and sensitivity, and analyze what they see. UC A-G approved – f Visual & Performing Arts.
The one semester course of Historical Geography is designed to introduce students to the five themes of geography (Location, Place, Movement, Human – Environment Interaction, and Regions) in order to examine human socioeconomic organization through a historical perspective. Geography and its interrelationships are viewed through the historical perspectives of Ancient Greece and Rome, Ancient China, Ancient India, the Rise of Islam, African Civilizations, and Pre-Columbian Civilizations to give students a sophisticated view of the world and an understanding of human life. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
World History is a College Preparatory Course for sophomores, which acts as a continuation of the narrative of historical geography begun in the Freshman year social studies course. World History continues to examine the effect of geography on the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present. Students trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. Major themes throughout the year-long course include: the Age of Exploration, the rise of democratic ideas, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, World War I and its consequences, Totalitarianism with an emphasis on Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, the causes and consequences of World War II, the Cold War, and the post-colonial contemporary world with a focus on the rise of nationalism and terrorism. Students will develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students analyze primary and secondary sources in order to consider multiple accounts of events and understand international relations from a variety of perspectives. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
AP World History is offered to advanced sophomores who want to experience a college-level course and will be taking the AP Exam in World History. The course develops a deeper understanding of the interaction between various human societies and the evolution of global processes and contacts. This understanding develops through both analytical skills and factual knowledge. The course involves comparing and contrasting noteworthy societies, and learning the causes and consequences of transitions in societal foundations. An emphasis on knowledge of content, coupled with the interpretation of major issues and the examination of significant historical evidence is central to the course. Precedents based on culture, institutions and technology, plus geography set the stage for human analysis. Specific time periods and themes provide an organizational framework to handle change and provide continuity for a scholarly examination of the course. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: World Geography (P) and department approval
U.S. History is a full year survey course beginning with an overview of early American history through the Reconstruction era. Students engage with the social, economic, and political history of the U.S. by examining major turning points in American history including industrialization, reform, imperialism, World War I, Depression and New Deal, World War II, Cold War, Civil Rights, Watergate, and more recent contemporary issues. During the year the following themes are emphasized: the expanding role of the federal government and the courts, the continuing tension between the individual and the state, the ongoing conflict between minority rights and majority power, the impact of technology on American society, the movements toward equal rights for racial minorities and women, and the growth of the United States as a world power. This course also builds the skills necessary for students to investigate, analyze, interpret, and evaluate historical materials in order to create original research projects and oral presentations. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: World History (P) or World History (AP)
Advanced placement United States History is a chronological survey course covering the period from the late 19th century to contemporary America (2000). The Advanced Placement program in United States History is designed to provide students the analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal critically with the problems and issues in United States History. Students will learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given interpretive problem, their reliability, and their importance, and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship.Students will be prepared to take the AP U.S. History exam offered by the College Board. All students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP US History exam at the end of the year. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: Honors US History (HP) and Department Approval
In this course, students pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government and politics. Students compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretations of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. Students will also analyze influences on the policy making process from outside of the government through the study of the beliefs and behaviors of citizens and the mechanisms that allow citizens to organize as well as communicate their interests. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship. Students will get an opportunity to see the functioning of political campaigns, local government, and the court system first hand through participation and observation. UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
Economics is a unique upper-division social science elective which enables students to use economic concepts in a reasoned, careful manner dealing with personal, community, and national economic issues. This course involves both theoretical and practical approaches to the ideas of scarcity and exchange, and includes a study of the tools of analysis such as charts and graphs. Along with a survey of microeconomic and macroeconomic principles, students will have the opportunity to investigate current economic issues and analyze how these issues relate to the concepts studied in class. This course integrates good citizenship with the understanding of economics, and thus serves as an excellent elective paired with Civics in the senior year. UC A-G approved – g College-Preparatory Elective. NCAA approved.
AP United States Government and Politics introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments. Major units of study include constitutional underpinnings; institutions of national government; political beliefs and behaviors; political parties, interest groups, and mass media; public policy; civil right and liberties. This course prepares students to take the AP U.S. Government and Politics exam by focusing on content and skills (including primary source analysis, interpreting charts & political cartoons, current event analysis, and debating constitutional issues). UC A-G approved – a History/Social Studies. NCAA approved.
Prerequisite: US History (P) or US History (HP) and department approval