Curriculum in the Social Science Department is designed to provide all students with an understanding and appreciation of modern world history (which includes regional studies), United States history, government, and economics. Students will also be taught the basic concepts and skills used in the social science disciplines. Modern World History, United States History, Government, and Economics are all in alignment with the California History/Social Science Framework. In an attempt to improve vital basic skills, stress is placed on reading and writing in all classes. Students with strong interest and talent in the social studies are urged to participate in the Advanced Studies-Advanced Placement Program. The department also encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities that directly relate to social studies such as Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Junior Statesmen of America, and Sojourn to the Past. Students with a strong interest in social studies or who are considering careers in business, education, or counseling should consider taking Psychology, which is open to students in grades 10-12. Students interested in learning how to become more effective group leaders should consider running for a student government office and enrolling in Leadership Training.
SOCIAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM
Modern World History 1 CP (College Prep)
Modern World History 1 AS (Advanced Standing)
Modern World History 2; Contemporary World Studies CP
Modern World History 2 AS; Contemporary World Studies AS
United States History 1-2 CP
United States History (AP) (Advanced Placement)
American Government CP; Economics CP
American Government and Politics (AP), Economics H, and Politics
Grades 10-12 Psychology
Grades 11-12 Psychology AP
Grades 11-12 Law Society
MODERN WORLD HISTORY 1CP or MODERN WORLD HISTORY 1AS Year Course
Open to grade 9
Course Description: This course introduces ninth graders to Aragon's history program. This is the first semester of Modern World History, when students will study European history since the time of the French Revolution up through Imperialism. Among the topics they will investigate are the Rise of Democracy, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism. In addition to learning the history of this era, students learn basic geography, communication skills and critical thinking skills that will be used throughout their high school education. Highly motivated students may prefer the challenge of Modern World History AS. This course will provide a level of conceptual sophistication that will be essential for students planning on staying at this level, leading up to Advanced Placement exams in United States History and American Government.
MODERN WORLD HISTORY 2CP and CONTEMPORARY WORLD STUDIES or
MODERN WORLD HISTORY 2AS and CONTEMPORARY WORLD STUDIES AS Year Course
Open to grade 10
Course Description: In the 10th grade, all students will take two semesters of social studies. CP students will take Modern World History 2, where they will finish the European focus on Modern World History. They will then move on Contemporary World Studies in the second semester where they will look at issues facing the non-European World today. Honors students, in the fall, will finish their study of world history in Modern World History 2. In the spring, they move onto regional studies.
U.S. HISTORY 1-2 Year Course
Open to grade 11
Course Description: This course is designed to help students understand the present by studying basic concepts and important knowledge throughout American history. This course begins with a lengthy review of the key issues and events of pre-1900 U.S. History, and continues with an in-depth investigation of the many aspects and periods of the 20th century. Students will examine these historical events, tracing their roots to the past and extending their influence to the present. The chronological focus of the textbook will be supplemented by a number of related activities including historical journals, book reviews, and one major paper each quarter.
U.S. HISTORY (AP) Year Course
Open to grade 11
Course Description: This course will focus on U.S. History from 1820 to the present. Major emphasis will be placed on historical research and interpretation. By meeting course expectations students will be prepared to take the Advanced Placement Examination in American History and/or excel on the College Board Achievement Test in American History.
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CP Semester Course
Open to grade 12
Course Description: This course seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values required for effective, responsible citizenship in a democratic society. Attention will be focused on understanding the structures, functions, and processes of government at the local, state, and national levels.
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS (AP) (WITH ECONOMICS – HONORS) Year Course
Open to grade 12
Course Description: This course is designed for students who want to prepare to take the AP exam in American Government. The fall semester will explore the regular American Government course content in more depth and stress writing analysis. The spring semester Economics course will include an emphasis on political implications of economic questions to help broaden student preparation for either the AP Government and Politics: American Exam or the AP Government and Politics: Comparative Test. The fall portion of the course is designated as an AP course.
ECONOMICS CP Semester Course
Open to grade 12
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the nature and structure of economic systems with particular emphasis on industrial capitalism and how our market system works. There is also significant emphasis on the dilemma of the consumer and the challenge of developing economic survival skills.
PSYCHOLOGY Semester Course
Open to grades 10-12
Course Description: This course offers a challenging introduction to a number of significant perspectives on the nature of human behavior. The central theme is the exploration and achievement of mental health. Students will learn key principles developed by leading psychologists such as Freud, Jung, and Skinner and apply these principles to help increase awareness and understanding of human motivation and action. A variety of assignments and activities are used to help students connect psychological concepts to issues that have personal meaning. This elective is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors actively interested in striving to learn about the mysteries of human behavior.
PSYCHOLOGY (AP) Year Course
Open to grades 11-12
Course Description:: This course is the scientific study of behavioral and mental processes covering a wide range of questions and issues. The goal of this course is to provide a general introduction to theory and empirical findings in the main topic areas of psychology – physiology, cognition, child development, abnormal, and social psychology – while relating this research to various aspects of everyday life. Psychology is a fascinating, diverse discipline. For students planning on majoring in the behavioral sciences, this course provides an academic foundation for future work.
LEADERSHIP Semester Course
Open to grades 9-12
Course Description: This course is designed for students interested in developing leadership skills and in supporting an effective student government program. It is required of students who are student body officers, class presidents, and appointed student body commissioners. Students will use leadership skills and interact both in classroom assignments/activities and in the organization and production of activities/events benefiting the school and the greater San Mateo County community. Students will promote a culture of involvement, school spirit, and mutual respect among all Aragon students. Students will experience personal growth and the development and/or refinement of leadership skills in the following areas: communication; team building; self-esteem; problem solving and decision making; goal setting; event planning; conflict resolution; creative thinking; time management; community service; advertising/marketing; finance/accounting; and government procedures.
LAW SOCIETY Semester Course
Open to grades 11-12
Course Description: This one-semester course will use a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching a practical understanding of the law. Awareness of rights is critical to anyone’s ability to function productively in society. This course is intended to help students survive in everyday life. Practical legal information will be given throughout the course, but the application of that knowledge to real life situations will drive the course’s lessons. Ultimately, the course is designed to make better, more informed, and more active citizens. Emphasis will be placed on understanding specific cases and scenarios that take place in our legal system, while also focusing on the day-to-day applications of the law. Certain themes will run through the course: 1) Rights vs. responsibilities, 2) legality, morality, and ethics, 3) proper assertion of rights, and 40 the legal system’s role in everyday life. This opportunity to learn will blend many different disciplines, including history, government, economics, English composition and comprehension, public speaking, debate, drama, technology, and sociology.