HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

The History and Social Sciences Department is dedicated to creating well-informed, knowledgeable citizens. Required courses for all students prepare them for their role as citizens of the world and emphasize a working knowledge of our government, our Constitution, and the events, which have shaped America for the last 200 years.


Elective courses are also offered for a more in-depth look at world history, past and present, and the social and psychological processes which influence human behavior. All classes promote a variety of learning skills, including conducting research, writing papers and essays, analyzing primary sources, and asking intuitive questions. These key learning skills are covered as students are exposed to the many cultures that have flourished in the world throughout human history.


Geography

  • Grade 9

Geography is the required freshman history course that emphasizes developing students’ understanding of the world around them. In the first semester, students learn map-reading skills and study the five themes of geography (place, location, movement, region, and human-environment interaction). The five themes give students specific lenses through which they can approach their studies of the regions of the world. During the second semester students will examine North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia using the skills gained during the first semester.


U.S. History

  • Grades 10, 11, 12, PG

This course is designed to give students a basic familiarity with critical events, institutions and concepts in American history from colonial times to the 20th Century. This history course prepares students with the skills and knowledge that are fundamental to the study of history. The central tenet of the course is skill development. Students will learn critical reading, evidence-based essay writing and primary source analysis.


European History

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • May be offered at the Honors level by teacher recommendation

European history is an elective course that begins with the French Revolution in the 18th century and follows the course of history in Europe leading up to the formation of the European Union. This time period had a tremendous amount of upheaval and technological advancement. We will use a combination of primary and secondary sources to look at the changes in Europe through empires, wars, and politics. The goal of the course is to prepare students for college level courses that will require essays based on the material being discussed and read in class.


Modern World History
  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • May be offered at an Honors by teacher recommendation

This is an elective course designed to provide a foundation for understanding the political, economic, cultural, and physical geography of the countries of Brazil, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Russia. Current events form an important part of classroom discussions. The impact of the past upon the present is stressed through an exploration of the roots of current conditions and conflicts. Readings incorporate material on the development of ideas, warfare, technology, science, philosophy, and religion.


Economics Honors
  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • By teacher recommendation

This is an elective course designed to introduce students to the basic principles of economic theory. Topics to be explored include supply, demand, price determination, market structures, Gross Domestic Product, banking, monetary and fiscal policy. Economic theory will be applied to case studies and market simulations to gain an appreciation of current economic events. Each student will be required to do a research project.


Ancient History

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • May be offered at an Honors level by teacher recommendation

Ancient History is an in-depth study of the ancient world, and the classical ideas and traditions that have influenced modern society. Students will examine the ancient world civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, Asia, and Mesoamerica. They will gain an understanding and appreciation for the complexities of these societies through study of their language, art, philosophy, political and religious structures. Students will develop effective writing, thinking, and speaking skills in addition to gaining historical understanding through readings of primary and secondary sources and literary texts.


Political Theory & Philosophy

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 Credit

This is the study of political theory and philosophy, e.g., liberty, justice, property and the authority to enforce laws. What are they, what makes them legitimate, why they are put in place, what gives anyone the authority to enforce? These questions will be studied through the writings of the most influential theorists in the field. Texts to be used in this course: The Republic by Plato, Politics: A Treatise on Government by Aristotle, Socrates by Voltaire, Complete Works of Confucius, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Prince by Machiavelli, On Liberty, by J.S. Mill, Beyond Good & Evil by Nietzsche, The Jefferson Bible by T. Jefferson, Age of Reason by Paine, Social Contract by Rousseau, The Federalist Papers, Batman and Philosophy. We will also look at selected clips from Lost and discuss why the writers may have chosen to name many of the characters after political theorists. We would look at other selected media and discuss the influences, e.g., comic books, video games, movies, etc.


Psychology

  • Grades 12, PG

This course provides participants with an overview of the field of psychology from both the scientific perspective in which the field is grounded and more subjective, personal insights into psychology. Students are introduced to research methods and actively learn how data is generated and collected by researchers. The following topics are covered: the biological basis of behavior; sensation and perception; motivation and emotion; stress and coping; learning and memory; thinking and language; states of consciousness; lifespan development; and psychological disorders and treatment. Students develop and participate in research projects, provide presentations on a regular basis, lead class discussions, and write research papers. Additionally, students are provided with ongoing instruction in advanced note taking, listening skills and content-related study skills.


Entrepreneurship

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

This course aids students to gain an understanding of the business and marketing principles necessary to start and operate a business. The primary focus of the course is to help students understand the process of analyzing a business opportunity, determine the feasibility of an idea, develop a plan to organize and promote the business and its products and services, and finally, to understand the capital required, the return on investment desired, and the potential for profit.


Microeconomics

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

Microeconomics is a one-semester course introducing students to the actions of individuals and business organizations regarding the allocation of resources. Topics to be examined: opportunity cost, demand, supply, elasticity, price equilibrium, cost of production, marginal analysis, competition, business organizations, and labor.

Throughout the semester students will use the text and supplementary readings to gain understanding of the topics being taught as well as partake in class discussion and lectures.

There will be weekly-required reading of an article from The Wall Street Journal coupled with a short response paper. A research paper, following the MLA format, will be written during the semester. Students will have the opportunity to write about a company, industry or individual who have had significant impact on the business world.


Macroeconomics

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

Macroeconomics is a one-semester course introducing students to the actions of governments and how they make decisions that impact the performance, structure, and behavior of national, state, and local economies. Topics to be examined: money and banking, financial markets, gross domestic product, unemployment, inflation, taxes and government spending, fiscal policy, the Federal Reserve and monetary policy, and international trade.

Throughout the semester students will use the text and supplementary readings to gain understanding of the topics being taught as well as partake in class discussion and lectures.

There will be weekly-required reading of an article from The Wall Street Journal coupled with a short response paper. A research paper, following the MLA format, will be written during the semester. Students will have the opportunity to write about a current macroeconomic topic of their choice (e.g. - pick a country and analyze its economic struggles and opportunities).


Anthropology

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

Social and cultural anthropology is the comparative study of culture and human societies. Through study of the general principles of social and cultural life, we examine the characteristics of specific societies and cultures. Current anthropological methods incorporate local and global perspectives and increasingly focus on urban as well as rural societies, with consideration of regional inequalities and all aspects of modern nation states. Anthropology contributes to an understanding of such contemporary issues as war and conflict, the environment, poverty, and problems of injustice, inequality, and human rights. This course explores the major topics of social and cultural anthropology, including kinship, gender, social organization, linguistics, ritual and religion, race, and political organization. Students are introduced to various ethnographic methods and expected to conduct fieldwork throughout the course.Anthropology challenges assumptions and biases, forcing students to reevaluate their views about human nature, cultural traditions, and the way we interact with each other. As part of this course, students examine controversial topics such as human sexuality, cultural taboos, and deviant behavior. It is important that students approach these subjects with an open yet academically critical mind. A large portion of class time is spent in discussion and/or participatory projects/fieldwork. It is essential that students come to every class prepared and ready to participate actively in the day’s activity.


Cambridge International AS Level American History

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • 2 credits, scheduled daily
  • By teacher recommendation

Cambridge International Advanced Study (AS) Level History is accepted by universities as proof of a student’s mastery of historical knowledge. Throughout the rigorous yearlong curriculum, students will learn how to present clear arguments, evaluate historical evidence and understand historical concepts like cause and effect, similarity and difference, and continuity and change. Successful completion of the course evaluations will earn a student college credit. These courses will have a heavy reading and writing requirement. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for, and are expected to take the Cambridge International AS Level Exam.


Cambridge International AS Level International Relations

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • 2 credits, scheduled daily
  • By teacher recommendation

Cambridge International Advanced Study (AS) Level History is accepted by universities as proof of a student’s mastery of historical knowledge. Students will examine issues such as the origins and aims of the League of Nations, the organization of the League of Nations, the successes and failures of the League of Nations and the origins and aims of the United Nations. These issues will be supplemented by studying topics such as the role of President Wilson in the League, why the USA, Russia and Germany were not involved, reasons for the League’s failure to preserve peace and the similarities and differences between the United Nations and the League of Nations. At the end of this course, students will be prepared for, and are expected to take the Cambridge International AS Level Exam.

 

Forman School
12 Norfolk Road, P.O. Box 80, Litchfield, CT 06759
Phone: 860.567.8712
Fax: 860.567.8317

 

Forman School is a coeducational, preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9-PG exclusively dedicated to empowering bright students who learn differently.

 

 

 

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