Social Studies

Social Studies’ focus is on man and the values that man has developed in building his country, culture and society. The model most often used to illustrate cultural values and social organization is the United States. However, the values of other countries in regard to politics, economics, society and morality must be studied if understanding is to increase among the various cultures of the world.

The student of social studies must be given the opportunity to discuss and debate, rather than be led to all conclusions. Therefore, reading across a number of opinions and viewpoints, referring to original sources, discussing conflicting interpretations of the facts, and reaching conclusions which the student can support with evidence that has been classified and authenticated will be the academic discipline that the Social Studies Department seeks to impart.

Social Studies Class at Pius X Catholic High School

Courses

  • World Geography
  • World History
  • American History
  • AP American History
  • AP American Government
  • American Government
  • Contemporary History
  • Psychology
  • Human Relations
  • Economics

Teachers

Stories about Social Studies

Psalm 78:3-4

Things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Course Descriptions

WORLD GEOGRAPHY – 9 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This required freshman social studies course prepares students to use cultural, physical and political geography. The course begins with basic geographical principles and broadens into the application of these principles to people in different cultures.

READING THROUGH CULTURE – 9 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This course is designed to help developing readers advance in their ability to comprehend various genres of text. Throughout the year-long course, students will receive direct skill building instruction that creates an interest in, and the ability to, glean information from more complex reading material. This course supports the following critical pieces adolescents need to be successful readers: instruction of motivation, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, content, critical thinking and writing in this literacy-based classroom through a gradual release of responsibility. Successful completion of both semesters will satisfy the freshman Geography requirement.

WORLD HISTORY – 10 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This full year course is required of every sophomore.  World History is an in-depth study of our global community’s past, emphasizing the people and events that changed past societies, and how these changes affect our modern society. It includes events from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration, Political and Industrial Revolutions, the World Wars, and the formation of contemporary society.

UNITED STATES HISTORY – 11 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This course is a chronological study of U.S. History from its beginnings until present day. This survey course emphasizes the synthesis of historical concepts and how we might learn to relate present problems to the lessons experienced by past Americans. This course is required for all juniors.

AMERICAN GOVERNMENT – 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

Required of all seniors not enrolled in AP American Government, this course will explore the philosophical underpinnings of our Constitution as well as the structure and responsibilities of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the United States government. Contemporary political and policy issues will also be studied with the goal of preparing the student to be an active, informed and responsible participant in our democracy.

PSYCHOLOGY – 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

Students will receive a broad introduction to the science of psychology, from the history of the field and its major advances, to the latest research on topics such as perception, memory, language, and personality. The class will also explore the tools and methods psychologists use to investigate the mind in a dynamic and exciting atmosphere. This course will meet the senior Social Studies elective.

CONTEMPORARY HISTORY – 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course provides an in-depth historical analysis of the modern era, relating the culture of the time periods to the events that are significant from this time of history. This will not be a survey course of history moving from 1945 to the present. Rather, this course will tend to break topics down into areas of study and spend more time exposing students to a variety of topics. This course will meet the senior Social Studies elective.

AP AMERICAN GOVERNMENT – 12 – (Sem. 2 – 5 credits)

This course is designed to help students gain a critical perspective on government and politics in the United States. It involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that make up the American political system. This course will fulfill the senior social studies requirement and is designed as an Advanced Placement course.

ECONOMICS – 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course will give students a greater understanding of economics ranging from the viewpoint of the individual consumer to the global economy. Students will study the law of supply and demand, forms of business, and influences on the economy, prices and competition. Students will examine current economic issues and relate them to past events and current movements in politics. This course will meet the senior Social Studies elective.

HUMAN RELATIONS – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course prepares students to understand the nature, function, and significance of human relationships within the family/individual units. This includes instruction in the concepts and principles related to various family living conditions; the establishment and maintenance of relationships; and the preparation for marriage and family life. Instruction emphasizes the uniqueness of families and individuals, the development and socialization of the individual, and meeting the needs and interest of individuals and family members. This course will meet the senior Social Studies elective.

FAMILY ISSUES – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

The student will develop the communication, reasoning, and coping skills necessary to resolve recurrent issues within families. Students will gain an understanding of crisis within families and the best courses of action to deal with crisis situations in a healthy and productive manner as well as develop empathy for both the individual and family unit. Students will learn about different family structures and functions and investigate the changes in the family over the past 300 years. This class will involve research into a student’s own family history to understand how economic, political and cultural changes affect families. This course will meet the senior Social Studies elective.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

If this course is successfully completed during 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, it may satisfy 5 credits of Social Studies electives.

Academic Decathlon is an accelerated and intensive year-long course of study in science, social studies, math, English (literature, critical reading, and writing), art, music, speech and economics. A new theme focuses the study each year, so a student may take this course more than once. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one scrimmage the first semester. A select group of twelve students will compete in Regional, and if successful, State, and possibly National Competitions. Because students in Academic Decathlon must come from three academic levels (A, B, and C or below) as determined by selected portions of their GPA, students of varying ability and grade will be in class together. Grading standards for this course are adjusted for grade and ability. Summer reading is encouraged.