Social Science Courses
Accelerated Early US History (8th grade only S1)
This semester-long course focuses on the study of U.S. history through 1877, including European colonization, the American Revolution and the founding of the U.S. government, westward migration, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. Students will examine the events and ideas that shaped and continue to shape the United States, with an emphasis on examining the perspectives of social groups often left out of traditional history courses, including women, African Americans, immigrants, and indigenous populations. They also will develop the thinking and writing skills that will prepare them for further advanced study in history and the social sciences, including chronological reasoning, making historical connections, interpretation of primary and secondary sources, and historical writing. Learning will occur through a variety of approaches, including lectures, reading assignments, discussions, debates, projects, and simulations.
US Government (8th grade only S2)
This semester-long course allows students to investigate this question: How can a society best establish and maintain democratic principles? Students will study the origins, structure, and functioning of the United States government and various methods of political engagement. Specific topics include the foundations of U.S. government, political beliefs and institutions, formal and informal methods of political participation, and the roles of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in creating, implementing, and interpreting public policy. Students also will develop the writing and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for continued advanced study in history and the social sciences. Learning will occur through a variety of approaches, including lectures, reading assignments, discussions, debates, projects, and simulations. This course satisfies both state and district high school graduation requirements for U.S. Government.
*Accelerated AP Human Geography & Histories
This course is a focused study of the 19th Century to the present using the AP Human Geography Curriculum and is for incoming 9th grade students. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the systematic study of historical and geographical patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students will employ spatial concepts and a landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences and will learn about the methods and tools geographers and historians use in their science and practice. This course provides students with an opportunity to develop skills such as applying key concepts in human geography, chronological reasoning, investigating historical and spatial relationships, data and source analysis, and historical and social scientific writing. The course includes the AP Human Geography topics of population and migration, cultural patterns and processes, political patterns and processes, agriculture and rural land use, cities and urban land use, and industrial and economic development. The pedagogy for this course will include lectures as well as extensive discussions, projects, and other unique activities that combine historical and modern phenomena. For example, students will be assigned a project in which they propose a solution to an urban challenge. The course is designed to prepare students for further advanced study of history and the social sciences.
*College AP US History
This course covers the College Board’s curriculum requirements for AP US History and the State of Iowa US History graduation requirements. Students will be prepared for success on the AP exam. It is requested, but not required, that students have some experience in rigorous coursework, such as the World History People and Places course. This course is also aligned with Central Academy’s American Literature course for sophomores. This cross curricular alignment greatly assists students in mastering course content because students analyze literature at the same time the historical event is studied. Students in this course go beyond the AP curricula not only with mastering DMACC competencies, but also in completing a research based project. This project can take many forms but utilizes evidence gathering, interviews, forming annotated bibliographies and defending research orally. Local and national historians are brought into the classroom so students can meet and understand the professional historian’s work. Local connections with the Salisbury House, Grandview University, the Jordan House and Simpson College assist with this aspect. Students learn history exists outside of the classroom as well by experiencing a variety of field trips to the State Historical Museum, the Soldiers & Sailors monument, the Truman Museum and the National WWI Museum. Students write, think, defend ideas and act as historians every day. Students analyze primary sources, create DBQ’s complete weekly presentations, lead debates and role play historical leaders.
*College AP World History
This is a course of study equivalent to an introductory college course in world history. The AP World History course is designed to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes, contacts, and interaction with different types of human societies. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. Knowledge of developments that illustrate major themes and relationships between major civilizations in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas is expected.
*College AP European History
This course surveys European history from 1450 to the present. Although organized chronologically, the following major themes are investigated: the evolution of democratic and capitalistic systems; social history; women’s studies; conflict resolution; philosophy; the fine arts; and the roles of religion, science, and technology in European society. Skills stressed include formal essay writing, critical thinking, working with primary and secondary sources, and reading college level materials for comprehension and analysis.
*College History of Middle East and Islam
College History of the Middle East and Islam is a year long survey course earning 3 DMACC credits during the Spring semester. It utilizes the themes of place, tradition, diversity and modern world. Students delve into the geography of the Middle East, the earliest peoples, the rise of Muhammad to the Islamic caliphate and civilization, women’s roles, the Muslim diaspora, Islamic art, the Iranian revolution, instability in the region and the strategic importance of the Middle East to the world economy. This course is appropriate for 11-12 grades as a high interest in the topic and ability to critically think, analyze and discuss is key.
AP Macroeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles that apply to a country’s economic system as a whole. The course places emphasis on the study of economic performance measures such as unemployment, gross domestic product, and inflation; the use of fiscal and monetary policy to address fluctuations in the business cycle; the role of the banking system in the economy; and international trade and finance. Students also discuss and debate economic theories and policies and learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts. This course does meet the DMPS graduation requirement for personal economics.
*Indicates weighted course