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Social Studies


Social Studies

Underlying all of our instructional programs is the belief that the most important goal of social studies education is to prepare students for citizenship in a democratic society. This directly supports the school's mission statement which advocates that our "primary purpose is to enable students to become responsible members of the community."

The History and Social Science courses are designed to:
  • Provide students with the knowledge base, research skills, and critical thinking abilities they will need to be informed, involved, and active citizens in a democratic society.
  • Encourage students to relate to the events, issues, and lessons of history to contemporary students and to their own lives.
  • Prepare our students for the History and Social Science portion of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System Test (MCAS), the content of which is based on the History and Social Science Curriculum Framework.

United States History I and II

"Not to know what happened before you were born is to always remain a child."
-Cicero

Rather than using a traditional chronological approach to the study of history, these courses are organized around thematic units; each of which will trace a topic of its beginning to the present.

This will provide two significant advantages over the traditional presentation, including:
  • Students will be more readily able to recognize the connections between historical events and important present day issues.
  • Coverage of more recent history which is often omitted completely by chronologically organized courses.
Activities such as lectures, class discussions, readings, historical role playing, critical viewing, and group problem solving will be used to help students learn about the following topics:

U.S. History Topics I (Freshman Required Course)

  • Immigration, Diversity, and the National Identity
  • The Revolutionary and Constitutional Eras
  • Expansion of U.S. Territory & Influence
  • Slavery, Racism, and the Civil War
  • Reconstruction, Segregation, and the Continuing Struggle for Equality

U.S. History Topics II (Sophomore Required Course)

  • Industrialization and Technology
  • Workers in the Industrial Age
  • The Great War
  • Capitalism and the United States Economy
  • The Great Depression and The New Deal
  • World War II
  • Origins of the Cold War
  • Korea and Vietnam: Anti-Communism and Containment
  • The United States in the New Millennium: Global Economic and Security Issues

Law-In-Action (Junior Elective Course)

Law in Action is a practical course in our legal system designed to provide useful information and problem solving skills necessary for survival in our law oriented society. The curriculum includes activities such as contemporary case studies, mock trials, classroom simulations and conflict resolution activities.

The textbook, Street Law, uses interactive methods and focuses on legal issues relevant to students' lives.

Course topics will include:
  • Criminal Law
  • Torts
  • Consumer Law
  • Family Law
  • Individual Rights and Freedoms
  • Rights and Responsibilities in the Workplace

Global Issues (Senior Elective Course)

This course explores the increasing interaction between diverse societies of the world. Global Issues with examine the role of the student as an individual, as an American, and as a global citizen. This course will provide students with the knowledge base and critical thinking abilities that they will need to be informed, involved, and active citizens both in a democratic society and as citizens of the world.

These goals will be accomplished through the exploration of various topics such as:
  • Global Warming
  • Over Population
  • Human Rights
  • Consumer Responsibility
  • American Political Process & Civic Responsibilities
  • Current Events
  • The Role of the United States in World Affairs
  • The Impact of Corporations on the Global Economy
Materials will include documentaries, print media, films, and investigative journalism, including the use of Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.

Holocaust and Human Behavior (Senior Elective Course)

This course explores the consequences of prejudice, discrimination, apathy, and abuse of power in one of the most violent times of the recent past...the 1930's and 1940's. Students investigate the forces that undermined democracy in Germany, as well as the political and ethical issues raised by the Holocaust. History is linked to individual choices, group behavior, and community participation in our own lives ...especially involving such issues as identity, power, violence, tolerance, and social responsibility. Activities such as lectures, class discussions, readings, historical role playing, critical viewing, and group problem solving are used.

Course topics will include:
  • Society and the Individual
  • Dismantling Democracy in Germany
  • Conformity and Obedience
  • Targets of Oppression
  • Incremental Evil: The Implementation of Genocide
  • Who Knew? - Bystanders and Rescuers
  • Between Revenge and Amnesia: How Can Societies Respond to Collective Violence?
  • Choosing to Participate: Defending Human Rights and Freedoms
The primary resource book used is Facing History and Ourselves (Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, Inc.)

Introduction to Psychology (Senior Elective Course)

Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
By completing the requirement for this course students will:
  • Gain a basic knowledge of important topics in human psychology.
  • Better understand their own thought processes and behavior.
  • Gain practical information about how to deal with situations in everyday life.
  • Increase their ability to think critically about complex ideas and materials.
Course topics include:
  • Psychology of Learning
  • Memory, Intelligence, and Problem Solving
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Altered States of Consciousness
  • Infancy and Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Personality
  • Psychological Disorders I
  • Psychological Disorders II and Therapy

Social Studies Instructors

Mr. Michael Carr
Mrs. Catherine Glennon
Mr. Kyle Pare
Ms. Ashley Puls
Mr. Shaun Moriarty


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