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Social Studies

The Monacan Social Studies Department believes in preparing students for the world that awaits them after graduation. Students will find rigorous and relevant courses where they are not merely memorizing facts, but developing historical thinking skills necessary to compete in an increasingly connected world. By taking the time to study the past and applying that knowledge to the present, students will gain a deeper understanding of current domestic and global issues. Students who complete the social studies curriculum at Monacan will be ready for the demands of 21st century citizenship. 

Courses Offered

Required Elective offerings  AP offerings
World History I (before 1500)
World History II (after 1500)
U.S. History
Government

Service Learning I and II
Sociology (semester)
Practical Law (semester)
Myths and Legends
AP European History
AP Psychology
World History
European History
U.S. History
Government
Psychology
* For more information, see the course descriptions below
* Required classes are offered at both C and Honors Level

Department Members
Name Classes Taught
Name Classes Taught 
Lynn Wilczewski
(Dept. Chair)
World II
AP European History 
  Bobby Henderson World I, Success
Leslie Bacile

AP U.S., U.S. History, Myths   Sean Hollingshead AP U.S., U.S. History, Econ
Ashley Borean World I, Gov't   Julie Negaard Gov't, Service Learning, Sociology/Practical Law
Sarah Ehret

AP Psych, World II   Valerie Sweet     Gov't, World I
Cameron Fiske U.S. History    Scott Thackston World II, AP World History, Myths
Megan Fiske World I, World II   Kevin Thornton Gov't, World I
Tom Gurecki AP Gov't, Gov't   Rob Vecchiolla  World I, U.S. History

Teacher Webpages

Course Descriptions
SS210 WORLD HISTORY/GEOGRAPHY 1500 A.D. TO THE PRESENT One Credit
Students in World History/Geography 1500 A.D. to the Present will build on the basic historic, geographical, political, and economic concepts presented to them in the first year of the program. The diversity of culture and the evolution of human history will be explored chronologically and geographically from the Renaissance to the present.
 
SS210 WORLD HISTORY/GEOGRAPHY 1500 A.D. TO THE PRESENT HONORS One Credit
Students in this course will build on the basic historical, geographic, political, and economic concepts presented to them in the first year of the program. The diversity of culture and the evolution of human history will be explored chronologically and geographically from the Renaissance to the present. Geographical concepts will be incorporated within the context of world historical events. Students will examine the development of the world's major political, economic, and legal systems; artistic and literary movements; technological changes; trade patterns; religions; and the influential people of history. Special emphasis will be given to the five themes of geography as they relate to regional conflicts, humanity's relationships with the environment, and the foundation of democratic principles, such as citizenship. Hands-on activities and the use of available technology will be an integral part of this course. Students will critique analytical essays and continue to learn the research writing process. This course stresses complex critical thinking and problem solving.
 
SS211 VIRGINIA AND UNITED STATES HISTORY One Credit
This course will chronicle the history of the United States from the first European exploration of the Americas to the present. Individuals and groups that contributed to the unique evolution of the United States will be studied. Both domestic and foreign policies will be examined at various points in time as the United States developed into a democratic world power. While focusing on political and economic history, this course will include a study of the American culture.
 
SS211 VIRGINIA AND UNITED STATES HISTORY HONORS One Credit
This course will chronicle the history of the United States from the first European exploration of the Americas to the present. Individuals and groups which contributed to the unique evolution of the United States will be studied. Both domestic and foreign policies will be examined at various points in time as the United States developed into a democratic world power. While focusing on political and economic history, this course will include a study of the American culture. Document based questions will encourage students to refine their critical thinking skills and write better analytical, reflective, and evaluative essays. Students will also synthesize information about national and international political and economic movements as well as historical personages. As part of this program, debates will center on important issues faced by the U.S. and will require students to apply, synthesize, and evaluate the impact of the U.S. on world affairs. In addition to tests and quizzes, students will write analytical essays. Students will continue to learn the research writing process by using additional elements of research in a paper. Other student projects should include several of the following: book reviews, oral presentations/projects, debates, simulations, biographical sketches, and political cartoons. The purpose of these products is to enable students to develop the ability to demonstrate more complex critical thinking and problem solving skills.
 
SS212 VIRGINIA AND UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT One Credit
The curriculum examines the structure and functions of our federal form of government. The decision-making processes at the local, state, national, and international levels are emphasized. The foundations of American government, the politics of American democracy, and constitutional rights and responsibilities are explored in depth. United States political and economic systems are compared to those of other nations, with emphasis on the relationships between economic and political freedoms. Economic content includes the United States market system, supply and demand, and the role of the government in the economy. Democratic values and citizen participation are stressed throughout the course.
 
SS212 VIRGINIA AND UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HONORS One Credit
The curriculum examines the structure and functions of our federal form of government. The decision-making processes at the local, state, national, and international levels are emphasized. The foundations of American government, the politics of American democracy, and constitutional rights and responsibilities are explored in depth. United States political and economic systems are compared to those of other nations, with emphasis on the relationships between economic and political freedoms. Economic content includes the United States market system, supply and demand, and the role of the government in the economy. Democratic values and citizen participation are stressed throughout the course. In addition to regular evaluation, all students will write one or more position papers and/or a research paper. Other student projects should include several of the following items: book reviews, mock trials, U.N. simulations, political cartoons, debates, court briefs, and written/oral summaries of legislative issues. The purpose of these projects is to enable students to develop the skills necessary to demonstrate more complex critical thinking and problem solving.
 
SS213 AP UNITED STATES AND VIRGINIA GOVERNMENT One Credit
This course will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret United States politics and the analysis of specific case studies and statistical data. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute United States political system. Beyond the curriculum designed by the College Board, this course will incorporate the Virginia Standards of Learning including political philosophy, economics, and state and local systems of government. Students will be eligible to take the Advanced Placement exam and may learn as much as three hours of college credit.
 
SS214 AP UNITED STATES HISTORY One Credit
AP United States History is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement test in what is usually a required course at the university level. A chronological approach is used to cover United States history from the first European exploration of the Americas to the present. The influences and contributions of individuals and groups are examined in the development of the United States and its changing role in world affairs. Students are exposed to political, social, economic, diplomatic, intellectual and cultural history. A major component of this course is the reading and interpretation of various historical documents.
 
SS216 AP WORLD HISTORY One Credit
This course provides students with a comprehensive and rigorous course of western and non-western history. While there are AP counterparts in Chesterfield to US/VA History and US/VA Government, there is none for world history. This provides sophomores an opportunity to gain university credit and an introduction to the AP curriculum. The course is a survey of history from 12,000 BC to the present. In keeping with the global trend at both the university and secondary levels, there is an emphasis on the history of all continents and peoples. Although Europe is still an important component of the course, more focus is placed on the non-Western world.
 
SS220 AP EUROPEAN HISTORY One Credit
AP European History is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement test in what is ordinarily the freshman level college history course. The course uses an essentially chronological approach to view the scope of European history from the Renaissance to the present. During this time period Europeans discovered the rest of the world, conquered it, and then were forced to relinquish it. Economic, political, and social history is examined as well as the lives of great monarchs, artists, and thinkers who shaped the history of Europe and America. Students learn about a range of people from Louis XIV to John Locke, Leonardo to Newton, and Machiavelli to Adolf Hitler. Students participate in the level of work which awaits them in college.
 
SS221 SERVICE LEARNING One Credit
The purpose of the course is to provide the time and opportunity for students to perform community service. Students will also study contemporary social problems facing our society and understand the role volunteers can play in finding possible solutions. Students are dismissed from school three afternoons each week to provide their services in nearby elementary and middle schools, nursing homes, parks, and hospitals. Each student is required to complete 160 hours of community service during the school year and to participate in class projects. Students will maintain a journal and spend time in reflection with the class.
 
SS222 PRACTICAL LAW One-half Credit
The objective of the Practical Law curriculum is to provide practical information and problem solving opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills essential for survival in today's litigious society. The curriculum includes basic factual concepts as well as activities such as case studies, mock trials, role-playing, and small and large group exercises. Students are encouraged to apply these concepts and skills in a study of hypothetical situations and law-related current events. Through this application of knowledge, concepts, and skills, the student develops the ability to analyze facts and circumstances objectively and to determine appropriate outcomes.
 
SS223 PRACTICAL LAW One Credit
The objective of the Practical Law curriculum is to provide practical information and problem solving opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills essential for survival in today's litigious society. The curriculum includes basic factual concepts as well as activities such as case studies, mock trials, role-playing, and small and large group exercises. Students are encouraged to apply these concepts and skills in a study of hypothetical situations and law-related current events. Through this application of knowledge, concepts, and skills, the student develops the ability to analyze facts and circumstances objectively and to determine appropriate outcomes.
 
SS224 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY One-half Credit
The goal of the sociology curriculum is to provide the background and framework for students to better understand their roles in society and the effects of various groups' actions and interactions on society. As students study American society, they incorporate many of the concepts learned in other disciplines of social studies such as responsibilities; rights; cause and effect; choices and their impact; the importance of communication, organizations, relationships, and the major American cultural institutions. This new application of traditional social studies skills and concepts provides a valuable awareness and insight into the general importance of and need for a broad understanding of the social studies.
 
SS249 SERVICE LEARNING 2 One Credit
Service Learning 2 is a course whose purpose is to expose students to the importance of volunteer work within their community. Students learn by doing. Service develops and refines responsibility and commitments. Students who perform volunteer services learn to value their skills and develop positive images about themselves. They learn to work with others and to solve problems, and in the process, develop leadership and teamwork skills.
 
SS251 AP PSYCHOLOGY One Credit
This course provides students with an introduction to the study of behavior and mental processes. They will learn the facts and concepts important to the different fields with psychology and explore the methods used within these fields.
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