Social Studies

Welcome to the world of Social Studies! The department adheres to the belief that effective democracy requires an educated electorate and involved citizenry. The department remains committed to enabling students to find, process, and utilize information in order to develop and articulate positions on the issues that impact contemporary society and incorporates the idea that those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

The department offers a mix of Advanced Placement courses, required courses, and a wide array of electives. Sophomores are required to take a full year of World History, while United States History is required for juniors and American Government and Economics are required for seniors.

In addition, the varied electives that we offer have proven very popular with students. The electives include The Civil War, Sport and Society*, America in the 1960’s, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, Psychology, Criminal Justice and Mass Media. We offer an Honors World History course as well as Advanced Placement courses in Macroeconomics, American Government, and U.S. History.

*To see a sample of student work, visit the Sport and Society Hall of Fame by clicking here. This website was created by students in Mr. Zegura's class in the Fall 2013.

Teacher Righting History

Moreau Catholic alumna and former United States Treasurer Rosie Rios ‘83 is partnering with Moreau Catholic to launch the Teachers Righting History nationwide initiative. Inspired by Ms. Rios’ work with our very own Mr. Phil Wilder, this initiative focuses on providing students with the opportunity to view history through the lens of women, with a new perspective and context that is often absent from traditional history books. This exciting program debuted on Friday, August 26th - Equality Day and the 96th anniversary of the 19th amendment being certified as a law.

The Social Studies department’s efforts are spearheaded by Mr. Phil Wilder, who has his students researching which historical women should be placed on Mount Rushmore in addition to examining images and stories of women through the lens of Advanced Placement US History concepts and guidelines.

In Mass Media, Mrs. Katie Teekell’s students are examining media coverage of historical women during the period in which they lived as well as today. Students create multimedia projects highlighting accomplishments the media may have missed, providing a new lens through which to view these important historical figures.

Mrs. Lisa Tortorich’s Shape History Project is designed to provide a platform for students to actively engage in the study of history and to provide a tool for making their voice heard and their thinking and learning visible to the world. Students post blogs connecting their learning with current events, personal opinions, media, and social networks. They interact with students around the world and in their local neighborhoods with activities designed to share their views and actively engage in global citizenship. Each student will chooses the specific perspective through which to demonstrate this connection, covering topics focusing on women, immigration, discrimination, or religion.

Department Members

Justin Frantz (Chair), Amy Armstrong, Dave Baptist, Frank Knight, Bob Parker, Katie Teekell, Lisa Tortorich, Phil Wilder

Graduation Requirements*

30 units

*(1 semester = 5 units)

Note:

MCHS requires 30 units of Social Studies: 10 units in World History, 10 units in United States history, 5 units in Government, and 5 units in Economics.


402. World History

Full year, 10 units, Grade 10
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course satisfies the requirement the California State Framework for the Teaching of World History. The course surveys the modernization of the western world, starting with the rise of democratic thought during the Enlightenment and continuing to the French Revolution through the end of World War I and setting the stage for World War II. Over the course of the year, students will develop an understanding of the physical and political geography of the world and will develop skills in note taking, research and writing.

404. U.S. History

Full year, 10 units, Grade 11
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course satisfies the California State requirement for a survey of American history. This course presents students with the various forces and factors that have affected the development of the nation from the Age of Exploration to the present. Students will be called upon to examine America’s domestic and foreign policies, both past and present, and to understand the nation’s role in the world of today and tomorrow.

405. Honors World History

Full year, 10 units, Grade 10
 
Prerequisite: Minimum 3.3 GPA and submission and approval of department application..
Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

Honors World History will be a full year survey of the history of the world from ancient times through the first decade of the Cold War Era. The assigned text will provide the organizational core of the curriculum. However, students will be challenged in the following additional areas: (1) the development of students’ critical thinking skills through assignments involving their interpretation and analysis of the original source materials, (2) the development of their social science research skills, and (3) use of technology in both research and presentation of assignments.

406. AP U.S. History

Full year, 10 units, Grade 11
 
Prerequisite: Minimum 3.3 GPA and submission and approval of department application..
Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

Students will evaluate and interpret various problems in American history, read historical sources and develop skills in formulating theses and generalizations. The class is intended for the student who is interested in historiography and American history. Students enrolled in this course must take the Advanced Placement test in U.S. History.

407. American Government

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course satisfies the California state requirement for a basic study of American government. Students will examine the origins of American democracy, the U.S. Constitution, elections and campaigns; political participation and opinion polls; the operations of the three branches of government, political parties, influence of the media, the electoral process and avenues available to them for political involvement. Opportunities are provided for discussing current issues with which our government is involved.

409. Advanced Placement Government & Politics: U.S. Government

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12

Prerequisite: 3.4 cumulative GPA; successful performance on required “data based question.”

Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course fulfills the California State requirement for American Government. The historical and theoretical origins of the American governmental system, political parties, the influence of the media, the institutions of government, political opinions and how they are formed, and constitutionally guaranteed rights will be covered. Current issues and examples that show our government in action will be examined. This course is recommended for students pursuing careers in public service or law. Students enrolled in this course must take the Advanced Placement test in American Government. Because this is a semester course, meeting during collaborations and outside class time may be required.

410. Advanced Placement Comparative Government

Prerequisite: Successful completion of AP US Government.

Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course will satisfy the MCHS Economics requirement. AP Comparative Government and Politics introduces students to the rich diversity of political life outside the United States. The course uses a comparative approach to examine the political structures; policies; 15 and the political, economic, and social challenges among six selected countries: Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran, China, and Nigeria. Additionally, students examine how different governments solve similar problems by comparing the effectiveness of approaches to many global issues.

411. Sport and Society

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course acquaints students with the discipline of sport sociology. Primary focus will be placed upon the study of the institution of sports in America, its development, and its significant impact on society, past, present, and future. The parameters of sport, game, dance, and exercise will be investigated. Topics will include American, Greek, and Roman sport histories, the role of women’s sports, racism in sports, fan/athlete behavior, the economics of sports, professionalism and amateurism.

413. Business Economics

Semester, 5 units, Grades 10-12

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course does not meet the MCHS Economics requirement. This course challenges students to learn how to run a business ethically and apply business principles of management and administration. Management theories and processes to achieve organizational skills will be emphasized and assessed with hands-on projects and competition. Business etiquette and ethics are key components throughout the material of this course. This course requires excellent decisionmaking skills and is based in economic concepts requiring students to apply rules of scarcity and opportunity costs.

417. Introduction to Psychology

Semester, 5 units, Grades 10-12

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

In this course students are introduced to psychology, with a focus on the scientific study of human development, learning, motivation, and personality. Students will develop some basic concepts of psychology and a historical perspective on psychology as the study of individual behavior. Students will read about and discuss the contributions of the major scholars in the field such as Freud, Pavlov, Maslow, Bandura, and Rogers. 

419. Economics

Semester, 5 units (required), Grade 12
 
Prerequisite: 3.3 cumulative GPA, submission and approval of department application; successful performance on required “data based question.”
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement, and fulfills the California state economics requirement.

This survey course focuses on economic principles, issues and analysis that provide students with an understanding of both the theoretical and practical approaches of this social science. The students will gain an understanding of the role that economics plays at the personal, national and international level.

421. Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement, and fulfills the California state economics requirement.

The United States has not escaped the mixed blessing of being a socially and ethnically diverse society. Americans are often moved to praise the culture as a melting pot, mixing and fusing diverse elements into a single functional amalgam. At the same time many groups of Americans have struggled with rejection and prejudice as they attempt to become part of the mainstream of American life. This course is offered for students who seek to understand the dimensions of our country’s diversity and the issues that have emerged for some as they seek to become part of the culture.

422. American Law & Justice

Semester, 5 units, Grades 10-12

Comment: This course meets the UC “a” requirement.

This course is designed for students who are interested in the American legal and judicial system through learning and applying the procedures and precedents used in the courtroom. The class will explore the meaning of law and justice and the means by which they have been practiced in both historic and contemporary America. The student will have the opportunity to learn about the Constitutions and the Judiciary at the State and National level, and historic court cases and decisions. You, the student, will have the opportunity to see and learn how the system operates by visiting and observing court room trials and hearings, listening to guest speakers who are attorneys and judges, and actually applying the knowledge you have learned by playing the roles of attorneys, witnesses, clerks, bailiffs and jurors in mock trials!

425. AP Macroeconomics

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12

Prerequisite: 3.4 cumulative GPA, and B average or better in Algebra 2.

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

Ever heard of the credit crisis? The bailout? The housing crisis? Raising or lowering taxes on the rich and/or the middle class? If you would like to know the answers to those questions and how they will directly impact your life – AP Macroeconomics is for you! The purpose of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of macroeconomic principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. Students will learn the tools and information that policy makers utilize when making political decisions and implementing social programs. Theoretical economic models will be utilized to develop students’ familiarity with national income, economic performance measures, economic growth and international economics. In an increasingly globalized economy, an awareness of the mechanics of economic systems is essential for competitive success. Students enrolled in this course must take the Advanced Placement test in Macroeconomics.

426. Advanced Placement Microeconomics

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Macro Economics.

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

AP Microeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual economic decision-makers. The course also develops students’ familiarity with the operation of product and factor markets, distributions of income, market failure, and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.

428. The Civil War in America

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12
 
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

The Civil War in America is one of the most important events in United States history. Some of our greatest heroes, most notorious villains, finest generals, and our most famous president will come alive in this course. Students will learn the background and causes of the conflict, military strategies, victories and tragedies of the war. The changes in women’s roles and the reconstruction of the south will also be covered.

436. Advanced Placement Human Geography

Semester, 5 units, Grade 12

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course is equivalent to an introductory collegelevel course in human geography. The course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications.

821. Mass Media and Popular Arts

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
 
Prerequisite: 3.3 cumulative GPA, submission and approval of department application. In addition, B or better in math work during junior year.
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course in mass media engages students in making informed decisions about real problems. All aspects of mass media – journalism, advertising, broadcasting – and a variety of ethical issues, including censorship, conflict of interest, explicit sex, portrayal of minorities, the elderly and children are considered.

440. Advanced Placement Psychology

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, teasing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, analyze bias, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.

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