Social Studies Electives
ADVANCED PLACEMENT GOVERNMENT & POLITICS: Comparative (Semester)
Requirement: Senior Status and Teacher Recommendation
Corequisite: AP US Government
AP Comparative Government is a college-level academic elective course for seniors; it is designed to provide students with the conceptual tools necessary to develop an understanding of some of the world’s diverse political structures and practices. This course will be offered during a zero period, before the regular school starting time. Students meet with the teacher at least twice a week, beginning in September through the end of April. The specific periods and days of the week will be arranged in August. Additional time may be required for students to view videos relevant to the individual countries. The course will encompass the study of both specific countries and their governments. It will also explore general concepts used to interpret the political relationships and institutions found in virtually all national politics. The College Board/AP directs which countries are covered for the AP exam. The countries forming the core of the course are Great Britain, China, Russia, Iran, Mexico, and Nigeria. An AP exam is administered in May.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT EUROPEAN HISTORY (Year)
Grade 11-12 (10th grade – Committee recommendation only)
Requirement: Teacher Recommendation
AP European History is a full year academic elective course open to all grade levels. It may not be substituted for any required course. AP European History is the study of the development of major cultural, social, economic, and intellectual concepts as well as a study of traditional political and military trends. Examples from each of the above categories are, respectively, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the witch craze, the development of the modern industrial system, the development of political theory, the rise of the modern state, the French Revolution, Imperialism, and World Wars I and II. In essence, the course covers the modernization of many aspects of European history, plus their impact on the world from 1450 to the present. Several important European leaders will be featured, including Martin Luther, Henry VIII, Catherine the Great, Napoleon, Bismark, Clemenceau, Hitler, Churchill, and Stalin. As in other AP courses there is the increased opportunity for supplemental reading, historical films, interpretation of primary sources, development of writing skills, and the opportunity for college credit. An AP exam is administered in May.
CRITICAL FILM STUDIES (Semester)
Critical Film Studies is an elective that traces the history and evolution of the motion picture industry in America. The course examines the world of film from Edison to Spielberg. Based mostly on the American Film Institute’s one hundred best films of the 20th century, the content of the course will mainly emphasize how motion pictures reflect the history and culture of the 20th Century, while also placing emphasis on film technique (camera use, sound, lighting, special effects, technological advances, etc.).
Psychology is an academic elective course that introduces the student to the world of psychology. The course provides students with an overview of the history of the subject (ancient and modern) and touches upon the many branches of the discipline. A major focus area, requiring student input, participation, and involvement, dominates the second half of the semester. In the State Course of Study the content standards are designed for a full year course.