A strong background in both history and the social sciences is an essential component in the education of an intelligent and responsible citizen of the world.
The Social Sciences Department believes that learning a simple chronological sequence of events is insufficient to an understanding of an increasingly complex, diverse, and problematic world. We seek to provide high school students various lenses, which they can use to bring into focus an expanding view of history. We seek to provide students with the intellectual tools to understand human behavior in both historical and social contexts. Honing these intellectual tools is an active process, which challenges students intellectually and requires them to become aware of their own prejudices and habits of thought.
The implicit and key result of the understanding of one’s self is an understanding of the human biases embedded in all sources of information. In a world of rapid change and cultural diversity, students need to develop a tolerance for ambiguity and a resistance to seek quick easy answers to complex problems.
History and the social sciences help to develop the intellectual tools required to examine events thoughtfully and reach conclusions carefully. These intellectual tools are necessary to clearly understand the interaction of culture, ethnicity, gender and race with political and economic events. Through developing clarity of understanding, the rich hues that make up the tapestry of history become visible.
It is our hope that such an approach will inspire a lifelong interest in history and current events in our students. We will then have produced members of the “educated populace” that Thomas Jefferson believed was the fundamental requirement for the success of a democratic society.