Department Philosophy

We live within a complex world facing challenges that frequently have their roots in the past. In history classes, students explore, analyze, and evaluate these roots by looking at earlier political, religious, economic and social institutions. Students thereby acquire knowledge and develop skills that they can use to create meaning about their own lives and about the times in which they live. The department’s curriculum provides a framework and body of knowledge with which to organize an understanding of these aspects of human endeavor.

Instruction in the seventh and eighth grades addresses geography, global issues and American social and political institutions. Study in grades nine, ten, and eleven addresses the history of world civilizations, including a course in the history of the United States. In the twelfth grade, elective, specialized courses in history and the social sciences allow students to broaden, or to intensify, their program of study. The curriculum, grounded in factual information, develops critical thinking through reasoned classroom dialogue and logical, analytical writing. Teachers also strive in their classes to nurture each student’s personal growth, to promote the group’s mutual goals and responsibilities, and to engender a joy for learning.