- Graduation requirement: 3 years
- Satisfies Category A of the A–G requirements: 3 years
The Grand Arts History Department is committed to encouraging all students to think critically about the forces that shaped today's world. We ask them to grapple with the causes and the consequences of major historical epochs, systems, and events as a means of helping them to link past to present and to future. All students complete three years of studies in history, including World History, U.S. History, American Government, and Economics.
10th Grade Courses
World History, Culture, Geography AB
AP World History AB
World History, Culture and Geography: the Modern World
Students in grade ten study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. They extrapolate from the American experience that democratic ideals are often achieved at a high price, remain vulnerable, and are not practiced everywhere in the world. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives.
AP World History
AP World History focuses on developing students' abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 8000 BC to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance—focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures—provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. AP World History encompasses the history of the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with special focus on historical developments and processes that cross multiple regions.
11th Grade Courses
U.S. History AB
AP U.S. History A
U.S. History: Continuity and Change in the Twentieth Century
Students in grade eleven study the major turning points in American history in the twentieth century. Following a review of the nation's beginnings and the impact of the Enlightenment on U.S. democratic ideals, students build upon the tenth grade study of global industrialization to understand the emergence and impact of new technology and a corporate economy, including the social and cultural effects. They trace the change in the ethnic composition of American society; the movement toward equal rights for racial minorities and women; and the role of the United States as a major world power. An emphasis is placed on the expanding role of the federal government and federal courts as well as the continuing tension between the individual and the state. Students consider the major social problems of our time and trace their causes in historical events. They learn that the United States has served as a model for other nations and that the rights and freedoms we enjoy are not accidents, but the results of a defined set of political principles that are not always basic to citizens of other countries. Students understand that our rights under the U.S. Constitution are a precious inheritance that depends on an educated citizenry for their preservation and protection.
Advanced Placement US History
The AP U.S. History course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making demands upon them equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. Students should learn to assess historical materials—their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance—and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. An AP U.S. History course should thus develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.
12th Grade Courses
American Government A
AP U.S. Government & Politics AB
Principles of American Government (first semester)
Students in grade twelve pursue a deeper understanding of the institutions of American government. They compare systems of government in the world today and analyze the history and changing interpretations of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the current state of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government. An emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationship among federal, state, and local governments, with particular attention paid to important historical documents such as the Federalist Papers. These standards represent the culmination of civic literacy as students prepare to vote, participate in community activities, and assume the responsibilities of citizenship.
Economics (2nd semester)
In addition to studying government in grade twelve, students also master fundamental economic concepts, applying the tools (graphs, statistics, equations) from other subject areas to the understanding of operations and institutions of economic systems. Studied in a historic context are the basic economic principles of micro- and macro-economics, international economics, comparative economic systems, measurement, and methods.
AP United States Government & Politics
United States Government and Politics builds familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute government and politics in the United States. Students become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes, both through study of general concepts and analysis of specific examples.