Social Studies

Educational Philosophy

The goals of the Social Studies Department focus on developing in students an understanding of the development of culture, providing them with the information and skills necessary to interpret their world and act effectively within it as responsible citizens. By culture is meant the unique characteristics of both American and global societies - their social structures, their economic systems, and their political organizations. Students need to understand the general patterns of civilization from which culture evolved. In an age in which the United States is increasingly committed to global involvement, it is also important to develop an awareness of how American culture and history impacts and fits into larger cultural contexts.


Student objectives include the following:

  • to demonstrate an awareness of the major factors involved in the development of civilizations from the Middle Ages to the present;

  • to acquire useful and relevant information about the world in which they live;

  • to develop the necessary skills to gather further information about whatever interests them;

  • to think critically about sources of information, both primary and secondary, recognizing bias and viewpoint and separating fact and fiction;

  • to interpret the world around them in such a way that they can make responsible decisions and act upon them effectively;

  • to develop personal values and a sense of their own worth and dignity as individuals;

  • to respect and appreciate one's own culture and way of life as well as those of others;

  • to be aware of the dependence of humans on their total environment and a personal concern for the preservation of an environment worth living in;

  • to possess a sense of responsibility toward others and a willingness to work in a cooperative way for the common good;

  • to develop a respect for learning and a desire to continue to learn beyond the opportunities provided by formal education.

To meet these needs, a curriculum has been developed which consists of a core program required of all students plus various electives available for those who choose to enroll. All students are expected to take the core program consisting of World History, United States History and Government I, and United States History and Government II. In addition to the core courses, students may add as many electives as they can fit into their schedule; but electives may not be used as substitutes for the required core courses.

When the number of students in one course is large, ability grouping allows teachers to work at the academic level that most closely meets the ability of the class. Therefore, students in the social studies core courses are divided into Honors, Accelerated/Enriched, College Preparatory and Standard Preparatory sections. Most social studies electives, on the other hand, are planned for students who represent the entire spectrum of abilities and interests typical of juniors and seniors.

  • World History

  • U.S. History & Government I

  • American Studies

  • U.S. History Government II

  • Economics

  • International Relations

  • Psychology

  • Political Science

  • Sociology

  • You and the Law

  • European History

Department Leader
David Green
Telephone: (978) 264-4700, ext. 3413
Fax:  (978) 266-1133

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