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Social Studies

AP US History

Credits: 5 hours each semester
Grade level(s): 10
Graduation Info: This course is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Social Studies
Duration: Two semesters
Prerequisites: None

AP US History meets the requirements of the College Board’s Advance Placement class on US History. It is a college level survey class of US History from colonization to present. The class prepares students for intermediate and advanced courses in college by making demands consistent with a introductory U.S. History college course. The course will provide students with analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. History. Historical materials and interpretations will be assessed in order to arrive at conclusions necessary to present sound judgments in oral and written presentations.

Geography I
Credits: 5
Department: Social Studies
Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, and 12
Prerequisites: None.
Fees and Materials: None
Graduation Information: Applies toward one-semester course requirement for Geography
Course Description:

Students are expected to understand concepts of geography as they apply at any scale, global and local. Therefore, these concepts, suggested by the district’s standards, are to be explored at a variety of scales and should be seen in context from local Denver examples to worldwide examples.

Students will study themes of geography related to understanding Earth as the home of humans. The units of study set the stage for human life. Students will understand these broad concepts and apply them to specific areas of the world where they apply. At the end of the course, students should be able to explain the broad theme being discussed and show their understanding by applying that theme to a specific area of the world. The teacher should use current case studies to allow students to practice the application of concepts.

Geography II
Credits: 5
Department: Social Studies
Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, and 12
Prerequisites: None
Fees and Materials: None
Graduation Information: Applies toward one-semester course requirement for Geography.
Course Description:

Students are expected to understand concepts of geography as they apply at any scale, global and local. Therefore, these concepts, suggested by the district’s standards, are to be explored at a variety of scales and should be seen in context from local Denver examples to worldwide examples. Students will study themes of geography related to understanding how places on Earth are interconnected. The units allow for student understanding of diverse connections between places on Earth, so students see how they relate to other places. At the end of the course, students should be able to explain the broad themes being discussed and show their understanding by applying them to specific areas of the world. Teachers should use current case studies (e.g., the controversy over control of Jerusalem during the conflict unit, acid rain deposition during the unit on the environment), because they allow students to understand the concepts in real-world applications.

Course: AP Human Geography
Credits: 5.00
Dept: Social Studies
Grade Levels: 11, 12
Graduation Information: This course (#2625) is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Social Studies (gen.)
Prerequisites: Geography 1 or Geography 2

Course Description:

This advanced geography course discusses geographic perspectives on human activity and explores human understanding, use, and alteration of the earth’s surface from a cultural geographic perspective. Students will consider both the spatial character of human occupancy of the earth and the role of humans in shaping the earth’s environments and landscapes. Geographers study the way places and things are laid out, organized, and arranged on the surface of the earth. This advanced Geography course reinforces a student’s study of geography as a social science by emphasizing the relevance of geographic concepts to human problems. Students will examine the spatial perspective of four units of study: the spatial perspective, population geography, cultural geography, and political geography. This course serves as an introduction to a range of upper level geography courses available at universities.

World History I
Credits: 5.00
Dept: Social Studies
Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Graduation Information: This course (#2750) is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Social Studies (gen.)
Prerequisites: None
Course Description:

This one-semester course traces the world’s history from prehistoric times through the birth of the modern world. It provides the student with the opportunity to understand modern world events and civilizations through the study of the backgrounds, problems, and cultures of various peoples of the world.

AP World History
Dept: Social Studies
Course Description:

Advanced Placement World History is the third social studies AP course offered in our program. The purpose of the class is to build knowledge and understanding of history from a global perspective. The course is designed to demonstrate historical patterns spanning over 10,000 years, from ancient foundations around 8,000 BCE to modern history, leading up to the present day. During this academic year, we will consider historical issues and questions spanning the Americas, the continent of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

You are expected to develop college-level skills and dispositions during this very expansive course of human history. course, including historical argumentation and chronological reasoning, as well as historical causation and interpretation.

Civics and Comparative Government

In this semester-long course, students will learn about the rights and responsibilities of United States citizenship. They will explore the structure of the federal, state, and local government through readings, discussions, experiential learning activities, and writing assignments. They will also evaluate how our system of government shapes U.S. foreign policy. By the end of this course students will better understand the fundamentals of how our government works, as well as the main functions of government. Students will discover their own abilities to influence and shape government and feel confident discussing current events.

Environmental Science

This year-long A.P.E.S. course is the equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, college-level environmental science course. As such, it is a rigorous and challenging laboratory science course. Students will take the College Board APES exam in May. Students who score well can receive college credit for the course. As APES is a laboratory science course, students will be creating and maintaining a notebook/portfolio which can be presented to colleges and universities if a student wishes to receive college laboratory credit for the course. Classes will meet for eighty minute periods 2 to 3 times a week. In addition two Saturday labs (4 hours each) will be held at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The majority of class time will be spent on laboratory investigations, experimental design, group projects, peer-teaching and hands-on activities

DCIS Specific Courses

Cross-Cultural Communication
Dept: Center for International Studies (DCIS)
Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
Course Description:

There are many ways to view the world. The purpose of this course is to recognize and value multiple perspectives, so that DCIS graduates are prepared to interact in the greater world. In this course, you will be asked to reflect upon your identity and experiences. You will also have the opportunity to connect with others who may be very different from you. This course will prepare you for an increasingly globalized world, while helping you to develop a confident yet open-minded view of yourself. You should prepare for difficult and open conversations about issues, some of which may be highly controversial.

Cross-Cultural Communication is the second class in the DCIS sequence that builds upon learning in Introduction to Cultural Studies. This cross-disciplinary class will address multiple areas of study, including Cultural Anthropology, Communications, Psychology, History, and Cultural Studies. The purpose of this course is to develop and improve communications skills, especially when dealing with members of different cultures. This course will also enable students to examine their own identities, as well as interact with members of a culture that may be different from their own. We will also examine global human rights issues, as well as other issues of inequality and social justice at home and abroad, historical and current.

Passages
Credits: 5.00
Dept: Center for International Studies (DCIS)
Grade Levels: 11, 12
Graduation Information: This course (#8081) is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Social Studies (gen.)
Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in DCIS; DCIS Introduction to International Studies and DCIS Cross-Cultural Communication, or teacher permission.
Course Description:

The DCIS International Passages courses are the format for the self-directed learning portion of each student’s third and fourth years in the program. Students develop proposals for specific individualized learning projects in collaboration with faculty advisors and community mentors. Project topics evolve from the student’s personal interests, experience, and emerging awareness of global issues studied in DCIS foundations courses. Three Passages are required for a DCIS diploma, one of which must be a research paper. The purpose of this course is to introduce the philosophy and procedures of the Passages segment of the DCIS program to complete the research paper.

Passages semester 1: 15 page research paper
Passages semester 2: Activity
Passages semester 3: either research paper or activity

Connections
Credits: 5.00
Dept: Center for International Studies (DCIS)
Grade Levels: 12
Graduation Information: This course (#8084) is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Social Studies (gen.)
Prerequisites: Must be enrolled in DCIS; DCIS Passages (completing)
Course Description:

The Connections course is the culmination of the four-year program in DCIS. Students have the opportunity to share experiences and observations from their coursework, Passages, program activities, and personal growth during this important period in their lives. The major activities of the course include the senior paper, a group Passage, preparation of a resume and college application essay, practice job and college interviews, and the exit interview. Utilizing a seminar approach, students are encouraged to practice their critical reasoning skills and to express their positions on issues clearly and persuasively.

Cultural Studies
Department: DCIS Social Studies
Grade Level: 6
Credit Area: Social Studies
Duration: year
Prerequisites: none
Course Description:

The purpose of this yearlong course is to help students define exactly what culture means. The foundation of the course is the eight “cultural universals” that are common to all cultures: language, education, conflict, arts and play, social control, social organization, economy, and religion. We will utilize these universals to contrast and compare specific aspects of students’ own cultures with those all over the world. This course will equip students with a thorough understanding of the concept of culture; students will apply this knowledge to analyze cultures and their values objectively. This course also provides a knowledge base for students to access when analyzing the complexity of international issues.