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History/Social Studies Courses

World Cultures focuses on area studies with units on sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, South Asia, the Southwest Asia and Northern Africa, and Latin America. This course will stress both the history and the culture of the areas studied, with special emphasis on modern history and current issues in the region.  In addition, the location of countries and physical features of each region will be mastered by the end of the school year. World Cultures is designed to eliminate student bias toward non-Western cultures and encourage student appreciation of the richness that can be found in the diversity of the world.

Modern European History is a survey course that focuses on several historical trends. Students will look at European social, cultural, and political thought as it developed in the Greco-Roman era and its revival during the Renaissance period. Students get a glimpse of imperialism in the 15th and 16th centuries that led to European world dominance. Students discover absolutism in the 15th - 17th centuries and the enlightenment movement toward more just societies in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as democratic revolutions in the 18th and 19th centuries. The course also covers the importance of nationalism and unification as it leads Europe into World War I, the rise of totalitarian governments in the 20th century and their consequences including the Holocaust, World War II, and its aftermath. While learning the content of European History, students will be learning to write about history from historical documents.

AP European History is offered as an alternative for students who have excelled in their previous history course. The course content is similar to Modern European History with a focus on intellectual and cultural history, political and diplomatic history, as well as social and economic history. The AP course requires a serious commitment to personal study outside of class. This intense study is designed to prepare students for the AP European History Exam while they are learning European history.  Thus, students in AP European History Course should expect to read and research more as well as write and revise more than in the standard Modern European History course.  Students are invited into the course by the History Department.  At the end of sophomore year, students may elect to take the AP Exam, although it is not required. 

In order to better understand our nation’s development and issues that affect its citizens today, students will survey major events from the pre-colonial to the modern era. U.S. History first semester topics include the Age of Exploration and Colonization of the North American continent to the Civil War and Reconstruction (American History before 1877). The second semester will begin with the Gilded Age-Twentieth Century American History (After 1877).

Dual Enrollment Class through Nebraska Wesleyan University and AP U.S. History

 

This course follows the same scope and sequence as U.S. History, but it is taught at the university level.  The students are eligible to receive university credits through Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Students may earn up to 8 university credits. (US History before 1877- the equivalent of 4 credits and US History after 1877-the equivalent of 4 credits). Therefore, the course requires more extensive outside reading, additional writing and more in-depth analysis of events and policies. Students are invited into the course by the History Department.  At the end of junior year, students may elect to take the AP Exam, although it is not required.

This is a fall semester course which includes units on the principles and history of the Constitution of the United States, the functions of the national, state, and local governments, philosophy of governance, and comparative governments.

This fall semester course follows the same agenda for senior year, but it is taught at the AP/university level.  Therefore, the course requires more extensive outside reading, additional writing, and more in-depth analysis of events and policies.  Students are invited into the course by the History Department.  At the end of senior year, students may elect to take the AP Exam, although it is not required. 

This is a spring semester course which includes units on the principles of micro and macro-economic concepts with research and project-based assessment opportunities. The course will begin with macro-economic concepts and conclude with a unit on personal finance.

This spring semester course follows the same agenda for senior year, but it is taught at the AP/university level.  Therefore, the course requires more extensive outside reading, additional writing, and more in-depth analysis of economic tendencies and principles.  Students are invited into the course by the History Department.  By the end of senior year, students may elect to take the AP Exam, although it is not required. 

Many factors will be taken into consideration by the Social Studies department in placing students in honors and AP courses:

Honors & AP Placement in Social Studies:

  • During their freshman year, students will be recommended for the AP European History class if they receive a grade of 92% or better in each of the previous three-quarters of World Cultures and meet the other criteria below.
  • For sophomore and junior year, students in regular classes must have a 94% to be considered for the AP course at the next level.
  • Students already in AP level courses will be recommended to continue in the next AP or Honor’s Course based on their performance in their current class.
  • Other criteria to be considered for honors or AP placement in Social Studies:
    • Quality of written work (critical thinking and writing skills)
    • Study and work habits (patterns of incomplete and late assignments)
    • Attendance
    • Number of honors or AP courses the student plans to take
    • Exchange plans may also be a factor in the decision
    • Current placement does NOT predetermine future invitations into honors and/or AP courses.

AP PSYCHOLOGY  

The AP Psychology course will introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students will be exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with major subfields within psychology. Students will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.   The class will meet one double block day each week but will require daily reading, online interaction, and submission of materials.

There are no prerequisites for this course; however, students are strongly encouraged to consider their overall commitments as this class will demand a great deal of independent reading and study. AP Psychology is open to juniors and seniors only.  This is a year-long course at Duchesne, but it is the equivalent to one semester of college-level study in preparation for the Psychology Advanced Placement examination, which students may elect to take in the spring to earn college credit.  The class and all assessments are focused on preparation for the AP Test. This full-year elective course is offered every other school year. AP Psychology will be offered during the 2019-2020 school year. 

 

ART HISTORY

This course will cover the history of art and architecture, mainly but not solely within the Western tradition, from antiquity through the early twentieth century.  Students will learn about works of art both in their formal and functional roles, as well as within their historical and cultural contexts.  We will explore relevant literature and music associated with several artistic movements. Students will have the opportunity to study an artistic period or theme; an individual artist; or series of artists in-depth in a final project.  This course will meet four days a week (three single-block days and one double-block day) for one semester (it will be offered during the 2019-2020 school year in the spring semester). The course counts as a half-credit elective; it does not count as an Art course.

 

INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN’S STUDIES  

This quarter credit, semester-long, seminar-style course for juniors and seniors will define feminism, explore how women’s roles in U.S. history have changed and expanded, and enhance understanding of topics and issues for women in contemporary society. It will provide students with various perspectives on the role of women in the labor force, education, politics and law, family life, approaches to activism and how those perspectives have evolved over time.  This class will meet on 1 single block day and 1 double block day a week.  This course is offered in alternating school years, with Women’s Studies being offered next during the 2020-2021 school year. 

 

A HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST  

This quarter credit, semester-long, seminar-style course for juniors and seniors will include readings, reflections and discussion on the history of the Holocaust.  Topics will include Anti-Semitism, Nazi Germany, the Ghettos, the “Final Solution,” Jewish resistance, rescuers and non-Jewish resistance, survivors and liberators, and perpetrators, collaborators, and bystanders.  Reading, primary sources and film will be used to learn more about the Holocaust.  The class will meet on 1 single block and 1 double block day a week.  This course is offered in alternating school years, with History of the Holocaust being offered during the 2019-2020 school year. 

 

THE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE WORLD—INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

In this one-quarter credit, semester-long course students will discuss how from the first days of the republic, U.S. citizens have debated how to balance their priorities at home with their involvement in international affairs. Today, the United States continues to wrestle with the task of balancing domestic needs and international concerns. An array of economic, political, cultural, and social problems exist both at home and abroad. For example, how should the United States address climate change? Terrorism? Humanitarian crises? Poverty and inequality? Nuclear weapons?  Immigration?  Consensus about how to address these problems and others is hard to achieve. Nevertheless, a healthy democracy requires debate and discussion about the values and policies that shape the United States' place in the world and students in this course will attempt to tackle these topics and form learn how for form an educated opinion on difficult issues.  This course will meet in the spring semester on two single block days.  Four or five members of the course will be selected to attend Capitol Forum in March in Lincoln.