Medfield High School
Social Studies Core Courses
- World History - 9th grade
- US History I - 10th grade
- US History II - 11th grade
- AP US History - 11th grade
- AP Macroeconomics - grades 11 & 12
- AP Psychology - grades 11 & 12
- AP US Government and Politics - grades 11 & 12
- General Psychology - grades 11 & 12
- Modern World Conflicts - grades 11 & 12
- Practical Law - grades 11 & 12
- Sociology - grades 11 & 12
- Human Studies - grades 9-12
- History of Sports in the US - grades 11 & 12
- Roots of Terrorism - grades 11 & 12
- America in Space - grades 11 & 12
- 21st Century Citizenship - grades 11 & 12
- Financial Literacy - grades 11 & 12
- News and Media Literacy - grades 11 & 12
Students in US History II Honors classes analyze 75 year old copies of Life magazine to see how advertisements were designed to support the war efforts.
Students in Mr. Coyle's World History II and US History I classes debated the issue of President Trump’s impeachment. Students were assigned pro or con positions and had the week to prepare their arguments during class time and for homework. Transcripts were studied, copies of documents obtained and websites searched. The students did an amazing job presenting their case. Students quoted people including Alexander Hamilton, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as well as the president himself. They were passionate in their defense or prosecution of the president. Overheard were statements including:
“His actions were a threat to national security”
“Alexander Vinman, who testified under oath, said there was a ‘clear understanding’ what the president was asking for”
“Just read the transcript”
“Ukraine did not know the aid was being withheld - therefore there was no quid pro quo”
“The Impeachment in the House of Representatives was unfair - Republicans were not allowed to call witnesses”
“The president has the right of executive privilege used by dozens of presidents before him including Washington and Jefferson”
“Nixon was forced by the Supreme Court to release audio tapes. Trump should release the actual phone call”
“Why was Giuliani running a shadow diplomacy with sketchy characters? It’s the job of the State Department to conduct diplomacy.”
The bell rang before the end of the debate but will come to its thrilling conclusion next week.
Field Trip to Newport Mansions
On Friday, December 6th, US History II students went on a field trip to the Newport mansions. Beautifully decorated for the holidays, students learned about the lives of the rich during the Gilded Age. They paid no income tax and their lives reflected the large gap between workers and the wealthy. The tours included information about the art and architecture of the period as well.
How do we teach students about impeachment?
All students are learning about the impeachment proceedings currently playing out in Washington. It is not often that students have the opportunity to see such a rare occurrence in the US. Here's what a few MHS social studies teachers had to say:
- Mr. Morin (US History I) "We are in the process of learning about the U.S. Constitution so we researched the text authorizing impeachment by the House and trial/conviction/removal of the President by the Senate. We then discussed the current stage of the process and where it is headed pursuant to the Constitution.
- Mr. Coyle (US History I) "As part of our study of the US Constitution we analyzed the purpose, process, and took a quick look at the history of impeachment. We then viewed a series of video clips starting with Speaker Pelosi’s announcement of the official inquiry, a PBS NewsHour overview of “what we know so far” (difficult because this is changing so quickly day by day), the opening statements of Rep. Schiff and Rep. Nunes before the opening of public hearings, and bits of testimony from George Kent and Bill Taylor. As it stands, we are checking in about once every week to add to “what we know so far” and answer any questions students may have based on what they’ve heard. If/when formal charges of impeachment are filed, we will take a deep look at each, debate, and hold our own vote.
- Mr. Langlois (US History II and Sociology) "Students read, highlighted and annotated the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky. Additionally, students debated various aspects included therein. Finally, classes watched a few minutes of the live testimony of Marie Yovanovich (Friday, November 15th). The students looked at the process of impeachment, and they voted as to whether or not to support the possible articles of impeachment in this case based upon the facts and documents presented.