Academics

UPPER SCHOOL SOCIAL STUDIES

Students emerging from Global Studies at The Epiphany School of Global Studies will acquire and utilize lifelong learning skills and values of democracy. Students should be able to evaluate the relative significance of information and to present/express diverse views. Values of democracy include awareness of the world community with a respect and appreciation for individuality, moral courage, and a spirit of inquiry. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the History department will offer a 9th-12th course selection as follows: AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP US History, AP US Government & Politics and AP Comparative Government & Politics. The History department will also offer a comprehensiveous, globally focused semester curriculum to complement the AP selection as follows: American Political Systems, U.S. and World Geography, Modern Political & Ethnic Conflict, and 19th Century US History. These semester courses are on a two-year rotation with new offerings available in subsequent years.

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

The AP Human Geography course is equivalent to an introductory college-level 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. The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards (2012).

AP WORLD HISTORY

The AP World History course focuses on developing students’ understanding of the world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present. This college-level course has students investigate the content of world history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods, and develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past. The course also provides five themes (interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; development and transformation of social structures) that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places encompassing the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

AP US HISTORY

The AP U.S. History course focuses on the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative) and the development of students’ abilities to think conceptually about U.S. history from approximately 1491 to the present. Seven themes of equal importance – American and National Identity; Migration and Settlement; Politics and Power; Work, Exchange, and Technology; America in the World; Geography and the Environment; and Culture and Society – provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places. The course also allows teachers flexibility across nine different periods of U.S. history to teach topics of their choice in depth.

AP US GOVERNMENT

This course is designed to simulate a college-level, introductory American political science course. It will teach students how to “think like political scientists” in order to gain a critical, yet objective, perspective on U.S. politics and government. It provides an in-depth look at the full spectrum of American government and politics. Building upon the basic principles introduced in the sophomore year and utilizing the historical background provided by junior year American History, the course examines the way the American Constitutionally-based political system has evolved over the nation’s history and how it operates today. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between structure and personalities and the way they combine to affect governmental operations. In preparing students for the AP exam, we focus on specific content areas while working to further develop relevant and important analytical skills. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP examination.

AP COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT

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; 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.

(HONORS) AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEMS

Students will analyze the founding principles of American government. They will understand how these principles are manifested in the U.S. Constitution, carried out through our government institutions established by the U.S. Constitution, and debated through the process of public policy making.

(HONORS) US & WORLD GEOGRAPHY

Students will study the Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places, and environments. Students will gain an understanding of their world through a study of place and location. Emphasis will be on applications to their daily lives. All regions of the world will be covered with a nine-week in-depth study of The United States.

(HONORS) MODERN POLITICAL & ETHNIC CONFLICT

Students will understand the processes of human interaction that bring about ethnic conflict. Students will understand the role of geography, political structures, commerce, and belief systems in each region of study. As a global citizen, each student will make a judgement of the current state of each region of study. Regions of study for the 2016-2017 are Europe: The Balkans, Africa: Arabs (and the Taureg’s) and Sub-Saharan (black) Africans, South and Southeast Asia: Subnational Conflicts, and Region of Choice. 

(HONORS) WORLD HISTORY ‑ INVENTIONS

This class is a survey of the world’s most important inventions within the context of world history.  The focus will be on student inquiry of how each technological invention met a critical need while creating demand and the opportunity for the next breakthrough. Students will develop skills that exercise creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. Students will employ a variety of learning strategies to answer essential questions about the history of invention: online reading and interactives, small group projects, individual inquiry, discussion boards, and videos.  An end of semester cumulative project will focus on students using the Design Thinking process. This course will strive to connect the past with today and the future.

(HONORS) WORLD HISTORY ‑ MODERN REVOLUTIONS

Students will develop an understanding of the modern world by studying some of the most important revolutions from the 17th century to today. Students will learn the causes of each revolution, analyze ideologies that inspired revolutionaries, and examine how these revolutions still shape contemporary politics. Revolutions for study include the American, French, Mexican, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and Civil Disobedience.
 

(HONORS) PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

In this course students will  study the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.  They will pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government while they gain an understanding of the functions of our government institutions by studying the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents.  Students will also  study the evolution of our founding principles and institutions by studying key events in US History.  Finally, students will be more informed and equipped to understand how the United States compares economically and politically on a global scale.

19TH CENTURY US HISTORY

Students will study the transformation of American society during the nineteenth century. In-depth study of the political, military, cultural, and economic events that cause this transformation will take place.

20TH CENTURY US HISTORY

During the twentieth century, America becomes the dominant military and economic power in the world. Students will seek to understand this development and the effects these changes  have on America.