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Social Studies

Brian Patnaude
Department Head
Extension: 108
Room: B210a
E-mail: brian.patnaude@gnbvt.edu

Janet Stanton
Academic Secretary
Extension: 202
Room: B210
E-mail: janet.stanton@gnbvt.edu

Curriculum

The purpose of the history and social science curriculum at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech is to provide students the knowledge, skills, and judgment to make responsible and just decisions as citizens of this nation and to understand world issues.

Students study history, geography, economics, and civics and government to help understand and place in perspective the people, ideas, and events that have shaped our state, nation, and the world. Mastery of the methods of history and social sciences ensures students’ ability to apply this knowledge.

A balanced curriculum ensures that students understand the underlying values, principles, and operation of the United States constitutional democracy so that they may become better informed and responsible citizens. The social studies curriculum provides exposure to the traditions and values of other cultures so that students may better understand people and events around the world.

The curriculum also instructs students in the skills of debate, discussion, writing, research, and data interpretation so that they can form reasonable opinions on issues affecting their lives. Furthermore, it provides students a foundation for continuing education in history and the social sciences.

History Courses

College Prep – U.S. History I:

Beginning with the formation of the nation following the American Revolution and continuing through the Progressive Era, students will analyze the social, political, economic, and military implications of the decisions made by our government and its leaders. Analyzing the effects of previous decisions and their subsequent consequences enable students to better understand the nation’s prior successes and failures, better equipping them with the ability to analyze current issues impacting our nation. Students will utilize this content to begin developing skills in source analysis and using these sources to develop critical arguments and produce well developed thesis statements and essays.

College Prep – U.S. History II:

This course begins with the Spanish American War and America’s growing involvement in global affairs and continues through the events of September 11, 2001 and the immediate aftermath. Students will analyze the social, political, economic, and military implications of the decisions made by the American government and its leaders. Analysis of the effects of previous decisions and their subsequent consequences will enable students to understand the nation’s prior successes and failures, further equipping them with the ability to analyze current issues impacting our nation.

College Prep – World History I:

World History I is a multicultural course that provides students with the opportunity to expand their understanding and appreciation of world cultures and traditions. This course inspires students to learn about past civilizations while gaining an interest in being a citizen of the world. Students study the development of world civilizations after the fall of the Roman Empire. Students study the history of the major empires and political entities of this period: the Ottoman Empire, the Moghul Empire, the Chinese dynasties, the Byzantine Empire, and the major pre-Columbian civilizations that existed in Central and South America. Students examine the important political, economic, and religious developments of this period, including the development of democratic, scientific, and secular thought in the major events and developments of European history. To the extent practical, students study the origins and development of major civilizations in Africa, India, and East Asia.

Honors – World History I

This course, which mirrors the content provided in College Prep World History I, emphasizes writing, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and articulate discussions of challenging materials, within a blended classroom setting. This course is offered to students who have demonstrated advanced skills in reading and writing and have previously enrolled in the Social Studies honors courses. Students not previously enrolled in the honors courses program will need approval from the academic department head. Students who are planning to enroll in the department Advanced Placement courses their senior year are encouraged to select this course.

College Prep – World History II:

Students study the rise of the nation state in Europe, the French Revolution, and the economic and political roots of the modern world. They will study the origins and the consequences of the Industrial Revolution, 19th century political reforms in Europe, and imperialism in Africa, Asia, and South America. They will examine the causes and consequences of the great military and economic events of the past century, including World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the Russian and Chinese revolutions. Students will also study the rise of nationalism and the continuing political, ethnic, and religious conflicts in many parts of the world.

Honors – World History II:

This course, which mirrors the content provided in College Prep-World History II, emphasizes writing, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and articulate discussions of challenging materials, within a blended classroom setting. Students will demonstrate and master their skills through a capstone and/or extensive research-based class projects. This course is offered to students who have demonstrated advanced skills in reading and writing and have been previously enrolled in Social Studies honors courses Students not previously enrolled in the honors courses program will need approval from the academic department head.

AP – European History:

Students will study from approximately 1450 to the present. They will study the rise of the nation state in Europe, the French Revolution, and the economic and political roots of the modern world. Students will analyze the origins and the consequences of the Industrial Revolution, 19th century political reforms in Europe, and imperialism in Africa, Asia, and South America. They will examine the causes and consequences of the great military and economic events of the past century, including World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and the Russian and Chinese revolutions. Students will also study the rise of nationalism and the continuing political, ethnic, and religious conflicts in many parts of the world. These topics require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places. This is a vigorous blended course, which requires participation in the Moodle platform, online discussions and the completion of various shop assignments. All students are required to sit for the AP exam. This course is recommended to students who have successfully completed Honors- World History I or have been recommended for placement by their teachers.

Local History:

Learn Backwards! This course will be taught from the present (today) to the past, ending in the 1600s. Local History is a great way for students to learn fun facts and the unknown history of the places they pass and live by every day. Students study the history of Old Dartmouth, which became New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Acushnet, and Westport. It will include the study of the area’s economic and ethic future, the effects of hurricanes, blizzards, and national movements on the area. Students will learn about the importance of the whaling industry and major figures in the anti-slavery movement. This course may include a field trip that highlights the interesting local history students will be uncovering. This is a single trimester course.

African American Studies:

This African American Studies course is designed to develop an understanding of the causes, character, and consequences of the African American experience and its influence on both the world and the United States. Students will gain an appreciation of the richness, diversity, and contributions of African American culture to national and international life. The course will include a comprehensive review of important people, events and ideas that have played a key role in shaping the history and culture of African Americans. Content will highlight dynamic contemporary topics and contributions made by members of the Greater New Bedford African American community.

Economics/Finance (Grade 10 Trimester Course):

This course will cover topics related to economic concepts, personal finance and the operation of a small business. Small business topics include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, workman’s compensation, social security, taxes, permits, licenses, insurance, and retirement systems. Topics in economics will include supply and demand market structures, the role of government, the national economy, financial institutions and trade. Students will also be introduced to the importance of personal finance. Topics in the area of personal finance covered will focus on money management including the earning and spending of income, saving money, using credit, making investments and protecting and insuring assets. This is a single trimester course.

General Psychology:

General Psychology introduces students to the social theories of modern psychology and traces the evolution of psychology to its acceptance as an empirical science. In addition, it provides a comprehensive overview of human development and the effects of environment and heredity on individuals. Students will examine group dynamics and the impact of racism, sexism, ageism. Students considering professions in education, nursing and law enforcement may find this course particularly useful.

Honors – U.S. History I:

This course, which mirrors the content provided in College Prep United States History I, emphasizes writing, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and articulate discussions of challenging materials, both within the traditional classroom setting and independently at home. This course is offered to students who have demonstrated advanced skills in reading and writing on the placement test.

Honors – U.S. History II:

This course, which mirrors the content provided in College Prep United States History II, emphasizes writing, analysis of primary and secondary sources, and articulate discussions of challenging materials, both within the traditional classroom setting and independently at home. This course is offered to students who have successfully completed Honors U.S. History I or have been recommended for placement by their teachers.

United States Government and Politics (Grade 12 Trimester Course)

This course is a study of the origins, development, structure, and functions of the American national government.  Topics include the constitutional framework; federalism; the three branches of government, including the bureaucracy; civil rights and liberties; political participation and behavior; and policy information. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and participatory processes of the American political system. In addition, the course will examine the role and responsibilities of local, state and federal government in the context of addressing issues related to contemporary American society. The core objective of the course will be the completion of a student led non-partisan action civics project. This is a single trimester course.  

Sociology ( Grade 12 Trimester Course)   

This course is the study of societies and how people interact with in another in those societies. Sociology can be used as a tool to study just about everything in our social world. In this course, students will use readings, film, music and other sources to discuss and critically analyze such topics as culture, race, gender, adolescence, poverty, social institutions and globalization. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students acquire a broad and deep understanding of social forces that influence the world in which we live. Students considering a profession in criminal justice, social work education and healthcare may find this course particularly useful. This is a single trimester course   

Teachers
Brandon Andrade
Sarah Blanchette
Ian Calnan
Stephanie Canery
Kimberly Fortin
Sarah Hartley
Evangeline LeBlanc
Tim McCarthy
Scott Parker
Heather Pimental
Olivia Rego
Timothy Rodrigues
Ryan Sylvia
Mark Waters