Social Studies Courses


During the 2019-20 school year Elmwood Park High School will offer the following social studies courses. To learn more about the Social Studies Department, please click here.


CIVICS

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

1.0 (two quarters)

9

None

Civics is a required course for graduation. The course will examine the in-depth workings of the American government and political system. This will include national as well as local politics. A main focus of the course will include specific current governmental policies, debates, party beliefs and laws. During the semester, students will be required to take and pass the Constitution Test in order to meet state requirements.

This course is offered using a co-taught model for students needing extra support.


AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

1.0 (two quarters)

9, 10, 11, 12

Teacher recommendation

Advanced Placement Human Geography is a college-level course designed to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use and alteration of the earth's surfaces. Students also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice. Specific topics of the course include analysis of maps and spatial data, how political regulations, economics, values and tastes create particular cultural landscapes, how regions came into being and what they reveal about the changing character of the world we live, and how events and processes operating in one place can influence those in other places. All students enrolled in AP Human Geography are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.


WORLD HISTORY

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

1.0 (two quarters)

10

None

World History is a survey of the most important events, ideas, beliefs, customs and institutions from earliest times to the present. Attention is focused on the growth of freedom and justice in government, but considerable study is given to geography, religion, science, business, fine arts, language, literature, education and family life. The important men and women of every age and nation are studied to see how individuals both shape and are shaped by their society. World History is an important background for an understanding of world affairs and world literature, as well as essential background for understanding United States history.

This course is offered using a co-taught model for students needing extra support.


AP WORLD HISTORY

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

2.0 (four quarters)

10

Teacher recommendation

This course provides a broader and more in-depth analysis of the content studied in World History. There is also considerable in-depth study and reading outside the required textbook. Students may also be offered opportunities for field trips as part of their enrichment in the social sciences. All students enrolled in AP World History are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.


UNITED STATES HISTORY

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

1.0 (two quarters)

11

None

The principal aim of this course is to provide students with the background, knowledge and pride in their American heritage that will prepare and motivate them to discharge their duties and preserve their rights as citizens. The course includes a study of the contributions of various ethnic groups to the growth and development of this state and nation. The course is organized chronologically around the major forces, events and personalities of our history from America's beginnings in Europe to the present. Special attention is focused on the political and economic struggles that led to the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the growth of democracy, the settling of the West, the Civil War, the growth of industries, corporations, labor unions, commercialized farms, rise of cities, social problems and our emergence into world leadership.

This course is offered using a co-taught model for students needing extra support.


AP UNITED STATES HISTORY

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

2.0 (four quarters)

11

Teacher recommendation

The principal aim of this course is to provide students with the background, knowledge and pride in their American heritage that will prepare and motivate them to discharge their duties and preserve their rights as citizens. The course includes a study of the contributions of various ethnic groups to the growth and development of this state and nation. The depth of study is greater than that of the United States History course, with frequent use of readings outside the text. All students enrolled in AP United States History are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.


AP UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

1.0 (two quarters)

10, 11, 12

None

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. Students will also be required to take and pass the Constitution Test during the course. This course fulfills the civics requirement. All students enrolled in AP U.S. Government and Politics are required to take the Advanced Placement exam in May.


MIND & MEDIA I

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

0.5 (one quarter)

10, 11, 12

None

The Mind & Media I course is designed to introduce students to the basic study of the human brain and how we as humans interact with each other and the world around us. In this course we answer questions such as: How does the physical human brain look and how does it work? How does personality develop? How does memory work? Why are we different from others? How does mental illness influence the human experience? Students will gain a basic understanding of the foundations of the discipline of psychology through this course.


MIND & MEDIA II

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

0.5 (one quarter)

10, 11, 12

None

The Mind & Media II course is focused on how we as humans interact with each other and the world around us, and what role media and government take in shaping our understating of the world. In this course we answer questions such as: How has television, the internet and social media changed how humans interact and behave? What do movies say about our values and culture? How does media reflect our cultural values? How do race, socioeconomic status and gender influence our society and how we behave? What motivates humans to hurt other humans? What is safety, and how do we create safe schools? How do we critically examine our media to create a thoughtful citizenry? Students will gain a basic understanding of the foundations of sociology and media through this course.


CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

0.5 (one quarter)

10, 11, 12

None

This is a survey course designed to familiarize the students with the nonhistorical aspects of social studies. Topics will include sociology, multiculturalism and many current issues facing American society. These issues may include ecology, crime, poverty and life skills.


AMERICAN CULTURE SINCE WORLD WAR II

CREDIT

GRADE LEVEL

PREREQUISITE

0.5 (one quarter)

10, 11, 12

None

Students will be exposed to a variety of elements that constitute the rapid change in the American way of life since the end of World War II in 1945. American culture has undergone significant changes in the morals, values and behaviors of youth. During the Baby Boom and Cold War era of the 1950s/1960s, American teens were looking to carve out their own niche following WWII, and arguably no period saw as much student-led activism. As America exited Vietnam, there was a sense of disillusionment. By the 1990s, a younger generation spearheaded massive change with the internet and technology boom. And finally, as we enter into a new millennium, the rise of social media and smartphones has completely revamped America's place globally. Special focus will be paid to the human struggle for equality and civil rights, but students will mainly examine the impact of how music, fashion, sports, movies, celebrities and new inventions and technologies have made America the most powerful country in the world.