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Phone: 720-886-1900
Fax: 720-886-1989

25901 E. Arapahoe Road
Aurora, CO 80016

Social Studies Course Descriptions

 

Social studies pursues the questions of who we are, why we are the way we are, and how the world works.  Embedded in the social sciences of history, geography, political science, and economics are lessons about human nature and the human condition, with sober reflection on the shortcomings and an appreciation of the noblest achievements.  Social studies investigates what choices we have, as individuals, as a society, as a world.  In its essence, social studies is about life.  Social studies will help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasonable decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.

 

All students must earn a minimum of 3.0 social studies credits to graduate from Cherry Creek School District.  Of the 3.0 credits, one credit must be achieved in US History (at the Essentials, regular, or AP level at CTHS).  Starting with the class of 2007, students must also achieve .5 credit of Government for graduation (at the Essentials, regular, or AP level at CTHS).

 

While only 3.0 credits are required for graduation, it is highly recommended that all students who plan to attend college take 4 credits of social studies.

 

WORLD GEOGRAPHY

Grade:  9

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  None

Using a high school level textbook, periodical literature, and internet sources, this regional approach to geography will take students on a figurative trip around the world. Each region's physical geography will provide a springboard from which to study the people, their activities, and map locations. The course will introduce students to basic geographic concepts such as population, resources, culture, scale, and globalization. By studying current regional issues, students will analyze the dynamics of a multicultural and interconnected world. In addition to content acquisition, time will be devoted to honing study, reading, writing and organizational skills.

ECONOMICS/GOVERNMENT

 

Grade:  10

Year: .5 credit for Economics/.5 credit for Government

Prerequisite:  None

 

The integration of Government and Economics in this year-long sequence will enable students to make better sense of our contemporary world. There will be an emphasis on the inextricable linkage between politics and economics, how they sometimes compete with each other, sometimes reinforce each other, but always affect each other in the real world. Government as a discrete subject fulfills the graduation requirement of one semester of government as established by the State of Colorado.  With a focus on the state standards, the course will consist of the following units:  Foundations, Structures and Constitutional Principles; Federalism; Politics and Public Policy; Foreign Affairs; Rights and Participation.  Throughout, the course will familiarize students with contemporary issues that face the U.S., Colorado, and Denver, and encourage them to articulate fundamentals of public policy positions.  Economics stresses the fundamentals of economics, including scarcity, choice, and cost, and examines the real world through those lenses. There is a broad comparison of economic systems, with special emphasis on free enterprise and the forces which govern it.

 

 

U.S. HISTORY

Grade:  11

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  None

This course fulfills the requirement of one year of U.S. History as established by the State of Colorado.  Students can expect to read a high school U.S. History textbook (grade 11 reading level) and to hone their analytical writing skills.  With an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the overriding goal of this course is to help students understand how the current domestic and international status of the U.S. developed.  It is designed to help students acquire a sense of chronology, to identify causes and effects, to recognize the events, individuals, and philosophies that helped shape our contemporary society, and to use historical inquiry to evaluate prominent episodes in U.S. history.

 

PSYCHOLOGY

Grade:  11, 12

Semester:  .5 credit

Prerequisite:  None

Psychology is the study of human behavior.  In this semester course, students will learn about the basic principles of psychology including the following topics: history of psychology, biological bases of behavior, sensation, perception, consciousness, learning, memory, language and thought, intelligence, motivation, emotion, human development, personality, stress and coping, psychological disorders, social behavior.  In addition to being applicable in their everyday lives, Psychology will provide students a foundation for further study in the field.

Note:  Sensitive subject matter will be covered in this class.

 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Grade:  11, 12

Semester:  .5 credit

Prerequisite:  None

International Relations is designed to help students better understand what forces are at work in world affairs and what kinds of futures may be possible.  The course will begin with a foundational understanding of the international system of individual sovereign nations, their alliances and international organizations.  It will analyze the motivations of nations and describe the tools they use to promote their interests.  There will be an emphasis on contemporary international events and special attention will be paid to US interests and its role in the world.

 

AP PSYCHOLOGY

Grade:  12

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation

This college level course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals.  Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major sub-fields within psychology.  They also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice.  The structure of the course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Test in Psychology.  Success on this test may entitle a student to college credit, advanced placement, or both.  The course requires excellent reading and writing skills, well-developed organizational skills, as well as a high degree of self motivation.

 

AP U.S. GOVERNMENT

Grade:  10, 11, 12

Semester:  .5 credit for Economics/.5 credit for AP U.S. Government.

Prerequisite:  Participation in Pre-IB 10 Program OR concurrent enrollment in Honors English 10 OR having successfully complete the grade 10 Economics/Government course.

 

This interpretive college-level course requires excellent reading and writing skills, well-developed organizational skills, as well as a high degree of self motivation.  Students will receive a weighted grade for the AP course.  AP Government gives students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States.  This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. political reality. The structure of the course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Test in U.S. Government and Politics. Success on this test may entitle a student to college credit, advanced placement, or both. (This course fulfills the graduation requirement of one semester of government as established by the State of Colorado.)

 

AP U.S. HISTORY

Grade:  11, 12

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation

 

This interpretive college-level course considers the American experience from colonial times to the present.  The course requires excellent reading and writing skills, well-developed organizational skills, as well as a high degree of self motivation.  Students will receive a weighted grade for the course.  The structure of the course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Test in US History.  Success on this test may entitle a student to college credit, advanced placement or both. (This course fulfills the requirement of one year of U.S. History as established by the State of Colorado.)

 

AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

 

Grade:  9-12

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation

 

Using a high college level textbook, periodical literature, and internet sources, this regional approach to geography will take students on a figurative trip around the world. Each region's physical geography will provide a springboard from which to study the people, their activities, and map locations. The course will introduce students to basic geographic concepts such as population, resources, culture, scale, and globalization. By studying current regional issues, students will analyze the dynamics of a multicultural and interconnected world. In addition to content acquisition, time will be devoted to honing study, reading, writing and organizational skills.

 

IB THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE 

Grade:  2nd semester of 11th grade and 1st semester of 12th grade

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Enrollment in the IB program.

 

TOK is a required course for all IB students.  They will be enrolled the second semester of their junior year and the first semester of their senior year.  TOK, along with CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and the Extended Essay lie at the core of the IB curriculum.  In TOK, students will explore and then acknowledge the strengths and limitations of the academic disciplines which they have pursued in their formal education.  A goal is for students to unlearn any automatic responses they may have had in the past in accepting absolute truths.  The purpose is not to engender cynicism, but to encourage reflection, self-awareness, and skepticism as they continue to pursue truth, reality and meaning.

 

IB HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS

Grade:  11

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Enrollment in the IB Program

 

The International Baccalaureate course in the History of the Americas is a comparative study of the Western Hemisphere, with primary emphasis on U.S. and Latin American history.  The course will examine the parallel histories over a time period from colonialism through the Great Depression.  Students will be expected to assess the relevance, reliability, and importance of historical materials as they relate to various interpretive problems in those two regions.  It is designed also to prepare students for the second year of the program (The Twentieth Century) which will include the HL IB exams.

 

IB PSYCHOLOGY

Grade:  11, 12

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Enrollment in the IB Program

 

IB Psychology is designed to fulfill the requirements for the Standard Level (SL)/Sixth Subject of the IB Program in Psychology.  Students will complete the compulsory study of three psychological perspectives:  biological, cognitive and learning.  In addition, students will study one of the following option areas:  dysfunctional, social, or psychodynamic psychology.   Subtopics include:  nervous system functions, sensation and perception, learning and memory, language, stress and intelligence.  For their internal assessment, students will undertake a partial replication of and report on one simple experiment of their choice.

 

 

IB HISTORY – THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Grade:  12

Year:  1 credit

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of History of the Americas, grade IB 11

 

The Twentieth Century is the second year of the two year IB Higher Level (HL) History Program at CTHS.  Complementing the History of the Americas in the junior year, this senior level class will focus on the IB Prescribed Subject (3) of the Cold War.  Within that context, two twentieth century world topics will be the causes, practices and effects of war (topic 1) and the rise and fall of single party states (topic 3).  Students will complete an internal assessment project during their first semester and prepare for the end of the year IB external assessments.

 

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Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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