History Department

Course Offerings
HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD
World humanities is the story of human experience: how people, ideas, and goods spread across the earth creating our past and our present. To help the students better understand this experience, the course is divided into smaller units of study. Within each unit, the students will be presented with primary sources, cause and effect outlines, biographies, graphs, charts, maps, political cartoons, and graphic organizers to reinforce the essential questions outlined above. Students will be evaluated on their successful completion of these activities, in addition to a historical research paper, section quizzes, and chapter tests. Not only will the students be studying the actions of major historical figures, but will also look at how common people lived and acted. The students will compare the different experiences of various ethnic, religious, and racial groups, social classes, and women. This curriculum provides the students with the opportunity to explore what is happening in various regions and civilizations at a given time. In addition, it enables the students to investigate issues and themes from multiple perspectives that lead to in depth understanding of the human element. The intent of this course is to introduce the concepts, materials, and tools employed in the discipline of history, and to help develop writing and other skills used in the study of history. By the end of the course the students should have developed their ability to think clearly and critically, to ask and research significant questions, to read historical materials intelligently, and to express their ideas in a logical, concise manner. Freshman course
HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT WORLD (HONORS)
World humanities are the story of human experience. It is a story of how people, ideas, and goods spread across the earth creating our past and our present. To help the students better understand this experience, the course is divided into smaller units of study. Within each unit, the students will be presented with primary sources, cause and effect outlines, biographies, graphs, charts, maps, political cartoons, and graphic organizers to reinforce these essential questions. Students will be evaluated on their successful completion of the activities in addition to a historical research paper, section quizzes, and chapter tests. Not only will the students be studying the actions of major historical figures, but will also look at how common people lived and acted. The students will compare the different experiences of various ethnic, religious, and racial groups, social classes, and women. This curriculum provides the students with the opportunity to explore what is happening in various regions and civilizations at a given time. In addition, it enables the students to investigate issues and themes from multiple perspectives that lead to in depth understanding of the human element. The intent of this course is to introduce the concepts, materials, and tools employed in the discipline of history, and to help develop writing and other skills used in the study of history. By the end of the course the students should have developed their ability to think clearly and critically, to ask and research significant questions, to read historical materials intelligently, and to express their ideas in a logical, concise manner. Freshman course
WORLD CULTURES I (INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS)
World Cultures I is designed to acclimatize international students into an English-speaking history classroom. The course will emphasize active learning, particularly in the form of student discussions and group work. We will use a textbook as a base to inform our communication about human cultures and their histories, but we will also use outside materials to inform a more well-rounded understanding of the world around us. Topics will range throughout ancient world history, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Participation and frequent writing are integral to success in the course. Freshman course
WORLD CULTURES II (INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS)
World Cultures II builds on the work done in World Cultures I. The course also provides a stepping stone for international students who are new to the school but have some training in English. In both cases, the course is meant to prepare students to take a U.S. History course in the following year. To accomplish this, students study the history of the world from the birth of the renaissance to present times. This study serves as vehicle to help students improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills in the English language. Additionally, students will look at current events and other studies that give them an opportunity to increase their English skills by interacting with a number of mediums. In addition to regular quizzes and tests, students will also write two papers each semester, and prepare a number of oral presentations that will assess the growth of their language and history skills. Sophomore course
MODERN WORLD HISTORY
Students will survey modern world history from the Renaissance to the present day while focusing on various aspects of politics, economics, society, and culture. The primary objective of the course is to develop basic study skills such as time management, organizational skills, and personal responsibility. Moreover, the course aims to strengthen analytical and interpretive skills. In addition to regular chapter quizzes and tests, students will devise periodic Power Point presentations and write an essay paper. Sophomore course
MODERN WORLD HISTORY (HONORS)
Students will survey world history from the end of the Medieval Period to the Modern Age, with a focus on the interactions, culture, and identities of humans and civilizations. The course takes a “non-Western” approach, giving students a global perspective on the issues of politics, religion, empire, and war. Students will develop advanced critical thinking skills through regular writing assignments, primary source readings, and student-driven discussion. They will also have opportunities to study current events and their relevance not only to the present, but also to their connections with the past and the future. Modern World History (Honors) fully prepares students for the rigors of the IB program as well as university-level social sciences and humanities work. Sophomore course
U.S. HISTORY
Students learn about the social, political, economic, foreign relations, and sectional transformations that the United States has experienced throughout its history, from the colonial era to the present 11 day, during this two-semester course. Students use the study of American history to further develop their reading, writing, analytical, and discussion skills. When possible, the course makes use of primary source documents that will further enhance students’ understanding of the events and people that have shaped this nation. Students are assessed through a number of means including quizzes, tests, writing assignments, and classroom participation. Students will write approximately two papers each semester. The writing program emphasizes student development of analytical skills needed to write a sound argumentative essay that is well-grounded in logic and supported by facts. Junior course
AP PSYCHOLOGY
AP Psychology is a full-year course designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental process of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. The aim of the course is to provide the student with a learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses. The major content areas covered by the AP Psychology exam are history and approaches, research methods, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation and emotion, developmental psychology, personality, testing and individual differences, abnormal psychology, treatment of psychological disorders, and social psychology. Students receive academic grades each marking period. The academic grade is based on performance on tests, study guides, projects and other assessments. Tests are weighted especially heavily, as they mimic the multiple choice and free response questions of the AP exam. Junior/Senior/ PG elective with departmental permission
IB HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS SL1
The SL1 History of the Americas course provides a rigorous examination of the relationship between the European “Old World” and the “New World” of the Americas through the lenses of war, religion, and empire. Students will study the colonial wars responsible for the creation of the United States, and compare them to the American military transcendence of those “Old World” powers during World War I. They will analyze the intellectual, cultural, and political divisions of the Protestant Reformation, the Wars of Religion, and the “Spain vs. England” dynamic of the sixteenth century. In addition to regular in-class tests and research assignments, students will prepare for and take the internal and external assessments required of the IB Diploma Programme. Junior course
IB HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS SL2

Students enrolled in IB History of the Americas SL1 will continue with IB History of the Americas SL2 toward their preparation for the IB exam in Spring. The course continues with the Cold War: Superpower Tensions and Rivalries, 20th Century. The next topic will be Causes and Effects of 20th Century Wars. A final topic will include Origins, Development and Impact of Industrialization (1750-2005). All students will complete the internal assessment in April. Senior course

IB HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS HL1
The HL1 History of Americas course for the junior year focuses on three topics: The American Civil War, The Emergence of the Americas in Global Affairs 1880-1929, and The Rise of the Authoritarian and Single Party State. The American Civil War examines the institution of slavery, the differences between Northern and Southern culture, military and political leadership, the nature of the war, and Reconstruction. The Emergence of the Americas focuses on why the region became more globally engaged during the period 1800-1929. The United States, Canada and Mexico will be the primary focus. The Rise of the Authoritarian and Single Party States will examine four different states including the origins of such regimes, the role of leaders and of ideology and the nature of the states concerned. Junior course.
IB HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS HL2
IB History of the Americas HL2 offers students a wide-ranging curriculum of study on the United States’ role as international superpower and the growth of democracy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Particular emphasis will be placed on the causes and consequences of the Cold War and the development of modern Mexico, Turkey, and India. Students will read primary sources on these issues as well as publications by professional historians. Students will undergo a course of intensive writing throughout the year, designed to prepare them for the internal and external assessments required for the IB program, as well as writing at the college level. Senior course
IB ECONOMICS SL1/SL2
IB Economics SL is a two year course forming part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program hexagon’s group three: individuals and societies. Although students earn Cheshire Academy academic grades, ultimate success in this class is determined by performance on the IB’s internal assessment commentaries written over the two years and the external assessment papers written in May of the second year. Economics is a dynamic social science. The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation, and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants. As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. IB Economics SL emphasizes the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms, and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments, and societies. IB Economics SL also encourages students to develop international perspectives, fosters a concern for global issues, and raises students’ awareness of their own responsibilities at a local, national, and international level. Junior/Senior two-year course
ECONOMICS (FALL OR SPRING)
In this class, students learn how to “think like an economist” and see the importance of economics not only in sectors of business and government, but also in their day-to-day lives. Students will be introduced to major economic concepts, examine the many interconnected components of the economy, and study some of the major economists and their theories. Some topics covered include scarcity, choice, opportunity cost, supply, demand, investing, and much more. Students are assessed via quizzes, which are administered every several weeks, as well as comprehensive mid-term and final exams. Lastly, students also partake in two independent projects, one pertaining to a less developed country and the other pertaining to a stock market simulator, which is always a favorite amongst the class. Junior-PG elective
PSYCHOLOGY I (FALL)
Psychology I is a one-semester introductory course designed to give students the opportunity 12 to explore major topics of interest in psychology, the science of behavior and mental processes. As psychology is a vast field, it is only possible to sample some of the material addressed by it in one semester. However, students interested in broader exposure may elect to take Psychology II as well. Specific topics covered in Psychology I include: Introduction to the History and Science of Psychology; The Biology of Mind; Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind; Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity; Developing Through the Life Span; and Sensation and Perception. Junior-PG elective
PSYCHOLOGY II (SPRING)
Psychology II is a one-semester introductory course designed to give students the opportunity to explore major topics of interest in psychology, the science of behavior and mental processes. As psychology is a vast field, it is only possible to sample some of the material addressed by it in one semester. However, students interested in broader exposure may elect to take Psychology I as well. Specific topics covered in Psychology II include: Learning; Memory; Thinking, Language, and Intelligence; Motivation; Emotions, Stress, and Health; Personality; Psychological Disorders; Therapy; and Social Psychology. Junior-PG elective
PHILOSOPHY (FALL OR SPRING)
The study of thought represents the purest form of inquiry in the Social Sciences. Students will delve into a salient world of logic, morality, and politics, encountering ancient classics like Plato’s Republic as well as post-modern revolutionaries like Foucault and Fanon. Students will have the opportunity to bridge the gap between East and West, and discover the classics of Islamic and Confucian philosophy. Philosophical texts and student-centered discussions will be accompanied by lectures, critical and interpretive writings, literature, and film. Students will learn the fundamentals of critical philosophical writing, and have the chance to research and present on a philosophical topic of their own choosing. Introduction to World Philosophy gives students the chance to find their own answers to Paul Gauguin’s three universal questions: “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?” Junior/Senior elective
CURRENT WORLD ISSUES (FALL OR SPRING)
The current issues facing America and the world will be analyzed using a variety of sources including the Internet. The political, economic, and social causes of each issue will be studied, and possible solutions or alternatives will be discussed. Methods utilized include guest speakers, in person or online, films, debate and online assignments. Effective discussion and writing based on objectivity, clarity, and impartiality will be emphasized. Junior-PG elective The Middle East (Spring) Students will survey the history of the Middle East, with special attention given to the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. They will establish a basic knowledge of Islam, examine the impact of European Imperialism, and analyze the legacy of imperialism as it relates to various contemporary “hot spots.” The primary objective of the course is help students gain a basic understanding of the general history of the Middle East in order to better comprehend world events today. By the end of the semester, students should be able to form educated personal opinions and participate in meaningful discussions about the Middle East. In addition to regular chapter quizzes and tests, students will devise periodic Power Point Presentations and write an essay paper. Junior-PG elective
GLOBAL ISSUES
The overall concept of the course is to explore a series of broad contemporary issues in an interdisciplinary, unit-based manner. The course may include some team-teaching, guest speakers and field trips. This course offers a range of intellectual inquiry—from economics, to physical science, to moral philosophy, to literature—and features a high degree of independent investigation and group sharing. Possible units of study include: Global Poverty, Climate Change, Global Terrorism, Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity and Our Human Habitat, Race in America, and Contemporary Art as Social Criticism. This course is a required part of the postgraduate year. PG course
PG SEMINAR
The PG Seminar covers a variety of topics throughout the school year in preparation for college enrollment. Some topics covered are: study skills and self-analysis of learning styles, college preparation, public speaking, and presentation skills. The public speaking and presentation skills components will call upon diverse, relevant themes including current events, ethical questions, and social decisions. All post-graduate students will be expected to serve as active participants in every aspect of the seminar. PG course

History Department Faculty

Mike LaSpina

Mike LaSpina

History Department Chair

Jennifer Dillon

Jennifer Dillon

History Teacher, Sustainability Coordinator

Margaret Leeming

Margaret Leeming

History Teacher

 
James W. McCarthy

James W. McCarthy

History Teacher

 
Daniel Mehleisen

Daniel Mehleisen

History Teacher

 
Kathleen Minahan

Kathleen Minahan

History Teacher; Advising Co-Coordinator

 
James "Butch" Rogers

James "Butch" Rogers

History Teacher

 
Gail Mauthe

Gail Mauthe

Director of Counseling, Psychology Teacher

 

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Address: 890 Lorem Ipsum Street #12 San Francisco, California 65432 Phone: 123.4567.890 Business Hours: 8a-6:30p M-F, 9a-2p S-S