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
  • May be offered at the Honors level by teacher recommendation

This course is designed to give students a basic familiarity with critical events, institutions and concepts in American history from colonial times to the 20thCentury. 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 18thcentury 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
  • .5 credit
  • May be offered at an Honors level by teacher recommendation

This is a one-semester, 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. 


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.


Facing History & Ourselves: The Holocaust and Human Behavior

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit 

In this one semester course, students will examine the history of the Holocaust while developing their skills in ethical reasoning, critical thinking, empathy and physical engagement. Students will look at primary sources, eyewitness testimonies, personal reflections, poetry, and book excerpts and images to examine themes and questions about human behavior to study the Holocaust. We will examine societal pressures and political influences that led to the behavior of people during the Holocaust. Students will also be making connections between history and the world today for common themes and elements from this time.

Although the main focus of the class will be about the Holocaust and the actions that lead to it, students will also examine genocide as a whole. Students will look at the Cambodian genocide, Rwandan genocide, Armenian genocide and treatment of Native Americans and Japanese in the USA.


From Hiroshima to 9/11

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

This course examines global policies, people and events that have shaped international relations from the use of the first nuclear weapons to the causes of 9/11 and the resulting global “War On Terror”. During the first half, the course focuses on the developing bi-polar world as the defining force in world political relations from the end of WWII to the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the second half, the course focuses on the Middle East as a center of conflict and instability that affects international relations on the world stage. We examine the roots of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the establishment of Israel, control of resources in the Middle East/ North Africa, the impact of 9/11 on world international relations, relations with Iran, the Arab awakening and other current developments.

In addition to studying the nature of terrorism in a global context, the class also focuses on the political and ascendency of countries such as China and India, and the growing impact of globalization. Current events are an important component of our work throughout the course. The course is reading- and writing-intensive and includes both a research paper and many historical simulations and debates.


Modern East Asia

  • Grades 11, 12, PG
  • .5 credit

This one semester course focuses on the social, cultural, political and economic development of China, Korea, and Japan from the late nineteenth century through the rise of Communist China. Topics to be explored are the Boxer Rebellion, demise of the Qing Dynasty, East Asia under colonial rule, the impact of World War II and China under Mao. The students will develop critical reading skills, primary source analysis and the ability to write evidence-based essays. A research paper will be required for this course.


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 Governmentby Aristotle, Socratesby Voltaire, Complete Works of ConfuciusMeditationsby Marcus Aurelius, The Princeby Machiavelli, On Liberty, by J.S. Mill, Beyond Good & Evil by Nietzsche, The Jefferson Bibleby T. Jefferson, Age of Reasonby Paine, Social Contractby Rousseau, The Federalist PapersBatman 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.


Cambridge International AS Level International Relations

  • Grade 11, 12, PG
  • Honors
  • 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 America, 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 Relations AS Level Exam.

Note: Exam dates are not posted by Cambridge International Education until October, and students/parents should be prepared for the possibility of taking an exam in June, and returning to Forman for the exam at their own expense. Forman School has no control over the Cambridge course exam dates and they do not offer alternative dates for examinations.

 

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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