Social Studies Curricula

AP Economics: Micro & Macro

This full-year course offers two separate programs of study in economics: one in microeconomics and one in macroeconomics. The purpose of the AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students' familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Upon completion of this full-year course, students are recommended to take one or both AP exams in May. A separate score is reported for each.

World Cultures

World Cultures is the full-year freshmen social studies course. World Cultures is taught in conjunction with English 9, allowing for coordination between the social studies and English curricula. The students are grouped heterogeneously, with two sections of the total number providing In-Class Support. The goal of the course is to provide every student with insight into the diverse cultures of the world, focusing on religious and cultural traditions and their impact on social structures, economic systems, political developments, and international affairs.

The curriculum is arranged by geographic region, with each team of teachers starting in a different part of the world. This allows for the English teachers to have the requisite number of books available for each section. The major regions studied are the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

US History I Traditional

United States History I Traditional is the first year in a two-year survey of American History. Presented in the sophomore year, it is intended to prepare students for survey courses offered at colleges and universities. US I Traditional begins with the British colonization of the Americas and follows the creation and development of the American nation through the challenges of the Civil War while ending with the domestic issues of the Gilded Age. Upon completion, students will gain an appreciation for the basic values and characteristics that define the American way of life and the American character. Also students will understand the fundamentals of a democratic government and the historic challenges to its perpetuation and growth.

US History I Honors

United States History I Honors is a course that prepares students who are interested in enrolling in Advanced Placement US History 2 the following year. Offered to sophomores who have completed the World Cultures honors portfolio, United States History 1 Honors is intended to prepare students for college coursework as well as success on the Advanced Placement level. Because the course is heavily content-driven, students are expected to complete both long-term and short-term homework assignments that encourage them to learn material on their own, fostering independence and initiative. Tests and writing tasks closely mirror the Advanced Placement exam and these assessments will challenge students to conduct meaningful historical analysis.

Beginning with 17th-century British exploration, the course offers students an examination of the United States from a European colony to a continental world power at the turn of the 19th century. Its goal is to view American development through the examination of social movements, foreign policy decisions, and economic developments. The overarching themes for this course include the following: the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the way many Americans agitated to be included within the ideals; the American frontier/the West as a metaphor for economic opportunity; the economic growth of our nation from colonial mercantilism to Gilded Age industrialization that was fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit, technological innovation and labor (both enslaved and later free).

The following curriculum reflects our department's belief that in the twenty-first century, our students need to be prepared to live as global citizens who need to acquire knowledge of the diverse people with whom they share this world. Moreover, as the world is experiencing a virtual revolution in information and communication technologies, MLHS students need to be trained to acquire and critically evaluate the abundance of information. That is why this curriculum stresses key "21st-Century Skills" in each unit.

US History II

United States History II Traditional is the second year in a two-year survey of American History. Presented in the junior year, it is intended to prepare students for survey courses offered at colleges and universities. US II focuses on the changing nature of American foreign policy, domestic policy, economy, and society from the Gilded Age down to the present-day. Throughout this course students will arrive at a deeper understanding of American institutions- both social and political- while analyzing the beginnings and development of many issues facing post 9/11 America.

US History II Honors

United States History II Honors is the second year in a two-year survey of American History. Presented in the junior year, it is intended to prepare students for survey courses offered at colleges and universities. US History II Honors begins with America's role as a world power and follows the development of the American nation developing as a player on the world stage ending with the current role of the United States as a key player in world politics in the 21st Century. Upon completion, students will gain an appreciation for the basic values and characteristics that define the American way of life and the American character. Also students will understand the fundamentals of a democratic government and the historic challenges to its perpetuation and growth.

AP US History II

AP US 2 is offered to Mountain Lakes High School seniors. Students are recommended for admission to the course; however, parents with supervisor approval may opt to waive their child into the course. AP US History 2 is a challenging course that is meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course. The course is a two-semester survey of American history from the Gilded Age to the present. Special emphasis in the senior year is paid to historical analysis and writing effectively. AP US History 2 is the second part of a two-year process in AP US History in which students are encouraged to take the AP US History Exam in May

Economics

This is a one-semester introduction to the field of Economics. Such basics as economics vocabulary, factors of production, supply and demand, determination of price, saving and investment, entrepreneurship, marketplace functions, employment and productivity, money and monetary policy, stock market operations, and other fundamentals of capitalism will be studied. Key concepts will also be taught through videotapes from the Annenberg collection. Guest speakers and individual research projects will be used to make the course relevant to students' interests.

AP US Government & Politics / World Comparative Governments

This FULL-YEAR course offers students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States as well as a second semester in comparative global governments. Students successfully completing the course will identify important facts, concepts and theories pertaining to U.S. government and politics; understand typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences; and be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to government and politics. Comparative politics offers students an exciting entrée into understanding a little bit more about the possibilities of, as well as the barriers to, individual opportunity and community development for people who live thousands of miles away, speak a different language, and exist in a very different culture. It is expected that students who enroll in this course will be proficient readers, well organized, capable of abstract reasoning, and highly motivated. We also encourage students to take both AP exams (US Politics & Comparative) in the spring.

AP European History

This collegefreshman level course surveys and interprets the evolution of WesternCivilization from the Renaissance to the present, examining political,socio-economic and cultural trends. Special attention is given to the emergenceof strong nation-states, revolutions and contemporary problems resulting fromglobal wars. Non-western civilizations are examined in terms of theirinteraction with the west. Students should be highly motivated and possesssuperior writing skills. Depending on the college or university, students mayearn college credits by passing the Advanced Placement Examination prepared bythe College Board.

AP World History

This collegefreshman level course offers motivated students the opportunity to immersethemselves in global history with a balanced curriculum that covers Africa, theAmericas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Building on content and skills fromFreshmen World Cultures, students will develop an even greater understanding ofthe evolution of global processes and contacts in different types of humansocieties. Depending on the college or university, students may earn collegecredits by passing the Advanced Placement Examination prepared by the CollegeBoard. Rising sophomores who matriculate for this course must complete theWorld Cultures portfolio.

AP Art History

This course isdesigned to be similar to an introduction college-level course in art history.The major focus of the course shall include both Western and non-Western art.Emphasis shall be placed in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting,and other art forms within their historical and cultural contexts. Studentswill earn to look at works of art critically, with intelligence andsensitivity, and to articulate what they see and experience. No prior exposureto art history is required. However, students who have done well in othercourses in the humanities, such as history and literature, or in any of thestudio arts are especially encouraged to enroll. The course also preparesstudents for the national Advanced Placement examination that affords studentsto earn college credits with a passing score.

Human Behavior

This coursewill examine selected topics dealing with human behavior in order to providestudents with an understanding of how such social science disciplines asSociology, Anthropology and Psychology investigate behavior. The areas to becovered will include the following: perception, thought, language, learning,the factors affecting intelligence, the cycle of life from childhood to oldage, the brain, personality and behavior.

Persepectives on the Holocaust

Holocaust & Genocide Studies is a semester course exploring the psychological, sociological and political circumstances that have led to genocide.  While the course’s primary case study is the Nazi genocide of Jews and certain other minority groups during World War II, we will briefly examine other 20th century genocides such as those targeting Turkish Armenians, Bosnian Muslims, and Rwandan Tutsis. Throughout the course, we will consider explanations of why these events happened, and explore how individuals can apply these understandings to their interactions with other people and their participation in civic/political life, with a view toward reducing the likelihood of future genocide.