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History and Social Science

Yearlong Courses

World History I

This course takes a thematic approach to the study of pre-modern world history and is a vital precursor to students’ later history courses at Lake Forest Academy. Topics that will be explored in this course include comparative religions, economics, political science, human and physical geography, sociology, anthropology, and archaeology. Students will also be exposed to research and writing skills that will be valuable for further history study. This course is designed for 9th grade students. [One credit.]

World History II

This course examines the history of the world from 1500 to the present, especially the nature and transformation of civilizations in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Through class work, reading, essay writing, and research, students explore the interaction between these regions, competing economic and political systems, developing nationalism and the rise of the West, and industrial capitalism. Students do not need to have taken World History I to enroll in this course. This course is not open to 9th grade students. [One credit.]

AP World History

This course examines the history of the world from 800 C.E to present. The purpose of the course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. The course is built around six overarching themes: patterns and impacts of interactions among major societies, change and continuity across world history, impact of technology and demography, systems of social structure and gender structure, cultural and intellectual developments, and changes in functions and structures of states. Additionally, the course emphasizes the use of analytical reading and writing skills, a critical evaluation of primary and secondary sources, analysis of historiography, oral presentations, and discussion groups. Furthermore, this course stresses student-centered learning. This course is recommended for sophomores who have earned an A- or higher in both their previous year’s English class and their previous year’s History course. [Prerequisite: Departmental approval. One credit.] Students who are not recommended may petition to the department chair.

U.S. History

This course surveys the history of the United States from the Columbian period to the present, including the colonial period, national independence, slavery, the Civil War, urbanization and industrialization, the expanded role of the federal government, and the involvement of the United States overseas. Students review the U.S. Constitution and the operation of federal and state governments, and explore the experiences of women, workers, and ethnic and racial minorities. In addition to traditional unit tests, students also engage in debates, presentations, and creative projects. The year culminates with a major research paper on a topic of their choice. This course is recommended for juniors and seniors. [Prerequisite: World History II or AP World History. One credit.]

AP U.S. History

This course covers similar topics to those in U. S. History but examines them in greater depth and devotes more time to considering changing historical interpretations. Instead of completing a single, large research paper, as is required in U.S. History, students in this course conduct smaller research projects throughout the year. This course also devotes time to preparing students for the sorts of essay questions which appear on the AP exam. This course is recommended for juniors and seniors who have earned a B+ or higher in the previous year’s English course and an A- or higher in the previous year’s History course. [Prerequisites: World History II or AP World History and departmental approval. One credit.] Students who are not recommended may petition to the department chair.

Yearlong Elective - AP Economics

This course is a college-level class that introduces students to the principles of economics and their application and relevance to current public policy issues. Students examine the development of the contemporary global economy and are introduced to the theoretical tools that help them analyze important economic and business issues. These tools include both micro- and macro-economic theory, which the students use to solve economic problems and construct a research paper on the international economy. In the second semester, students will study the organization of markets, theory of the firm, theories of economic development, and the role of governments in all areas of the global economy. Special attention is given to contemporary development concerns, such as issues in the economics of health, education, and the environment, as well as to the development of world trade and the expansion of global business. Specific time is also spent on practicing multiple-choice and free response answers in preparation for the AP examinations in micro- and macro-economics. This course is recommended for juniors and seniors who have earned a B+ or higher in their previous year’s history course. [Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB or BC (including concurrent enrollment), students who do not meet the math requirement may petition to the department chair. One credit.]

NOTE: History electives are open to juniors and seniors. Sophomores may take history electives upon approval of the department.

Yearlong Elective - AP United States and Comparative Government and Politics

This yearlong, college-level course examines the government institutions, politics and policy challenges of seven countries by uniquely blending both the AP US Government and Politics course and the AP Comparative Government course. In addition to an in-depth examination of American government and politics, this course studies the institutions and policy-making of six core countries: the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Iran, Mexico, and Nigeria. Employing a comparative approach throughout, the content of this course changes as the political landscape of the world changes. Students develop the tools to critically analyze these global political developments as they occur. Assessments include traditional AP-like tests, but students also regularly engage in real-life project-based learning including debates, simulations and current event briefings. This course prepares students to take two AP Exams in the spring: United States Government and Politics and Comparative Government and Politics. This course is recommended for juniors and seniors with a keen interest in global politics. [One credit.]

NOTE: History electives are open to juniors and seniors. Sophomores may take history electives upon approval of the department.

Fall Semester Courses

A History of Human Rights in the Americas

This student-centered course will provide a wide-ranging survey of conceptual foundations and issues in contemporary human rights in the United States and the Americas. The class will examine the philosophical origins of human rights, contemporary debates, the evolution of human rights, key human rights documents, and the questions of human rights enforcement with a particular focus on the United States and the Americas. Violations of human rights appear in many forms. They span the gamut from torture and human trafficking (modern-day slavery) to poverty and war atrocities, from religious persecution to gender and racial discrimination. Students will examine a wide array of topics including: a history of human rights and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, historical examples of human rights violations in the United States and the Americas, contemporary issues in human rights, civil and Political rights, economic, social and cultural rights [health care, education, housing, environmental rights [healthy environment, clean air, respect for the Earth], and sexual rights. [Half-credit]

Introductory Economics

This course introduces the basic principles of economics and their application and relevance to public policy issues. Emphasis is placed on the development, current state and future position of political economy of the United States in an international context as well as introducing basic theoretical tools to aid analysis of central economic issues and debates. The theory includes basic micro-economic models to explain market behavior and macro-economic models to explain price levels and output in national economies. The objectives of this course are to provide the basic tools for understanding fundamental economic issues and to stimulate thinking and consciousness on the central areas of debate. [Half credit]

Global Affairs

The focus of the class will be current events/global issues that affect the student as a global citizen, a resident/citizen of the United States and a student of Lake Forest Academy. The purpose of the course is to be able to make connections between current events and history, and to encourage students to become more active and engaged global citizens. Topics covered will be student driven and in past years have ranged from why college is so expensive, the isolation of North Korea, and the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Assignments will include nightly reading and reading responses, short papers (1-2 pages), and a 5-7 page research paper at the end of the semester. These assignments will help students to develop critical thinking skills, analytical writing skills, and a deeper understanding of their place in a globalized world. [Half credit]

Spring Semester Courses

A History of Global Human Rights

This student-centered course will provide a wide-ranging survey of conceptual foundations and issues in contemporary human rights in regions outside of the Americas. The class will examine the philosophical origins of human rights, contemporary debates, the evolution of human rights, key human rights documents, and the questions of human rights enforcement with a particular focus on Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Violations of human rights appear in many forms. They span the gamut from torture and human trafficking (modern-day slavery) to poverty and war atrocities, from religious persecution to gender and racial discrimination. Students will examine a wide array of topics including: a history of human rights and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, historical examples of human rights violations in the United States and the Americas, contemporary issues in human rights, civil and Political rights, economic, social and cultural rights [health care, education, housing, environmental rights [healthy environment, clean air, respect for the Earth], and sexual rights. [Half-credit]

The City of Big Shoulders: A History of Chicago

This course will incorporate academic texts, primary source music, the arts and architecture, politics, crime, sports, and more to thematically explore the history of Chicago. Chicago's moniker "The Second City" is now defunct; the city is the equal of any other in the United States and has the stories to prove it. From a small outpost on the edge of the new nation to its status as a world-leading metropolis, Chicago rewards those who take the time to learn about its history. Assessments will include tests, essays and projects. [Half credit.]

Entrepreneurship

This course introduces students to the nature of business and entrepreneurship. It will focus on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur through the use of economic theory and the various skills one needs to start and run their own business. Students will learn how to identify, assess and develop a business plan as well as how to find and evaluate business opportunities. The role of marketing, accounting, risk assessment, and other mediums needed to become an entrepreneur will be covered extensively throughout the semester. The students will develop their own business models including a fast casual restaurant, a minor league sports franchise, a small business using a microloan, and marketing an original invention. (Open to juniors and seniors.) [Half credit.]